Sunday, September 4, 2011

Kishore babu's kindness

Kishore babu as he is known is a rich man leading a peaceful life after handing over the business to his sons. A kindly old man he spent his time reading spiritual books, visiting temples and attending religious lectures. His palatial house overlooked a large municipal park situated in sylvan surroundings. This park with its best laid pathways for the morning walkers drew large crowd .One could see joggers running, old men and women walking briskly, yoga sessions on green spots, children playing in the playing area on the slides and swings and young romantic couples hiding in secluded spots under the trees watching the ducks swimming in the large pond in the centre. Vendors were seen busy selling to the young and old jal mudi, gol goppas, alu tikias, ice creams of different brands and fluffy sugar candies in pink colour

Kishore babu invariably spent the Sunday evenings at the park watching the people and the playing children. The children all well dressed from well to do families flocked the ice cream vendors and were busy buying cones and cups of ice-cream in different colours and tastes. What saddened Kishore babu was the sight of ill clad poor children in tatters watching with drooling mouths from afar the rich kids licking the cones and slurping from the cups.. The hapless kids did not approach the vendors but kept staring hungrily at the fortunate children with mouths open. Kishore babu had not forgotten his early childhood days in poverty with his mom working in different households to make a living. He left the park abruptly and in a depressed mood much earlier than his usual time.

The next Sunday Kishore babu was seen sitting in his usual place. Not yonder from him stood one man with a tall stool with large cubes of ice covered by gunny bag and a carpenter tool like planer on the stool to shred the ice cubes. Mounted on his stool was an array of bottles with coloured sugar syrups in red, yellow and green. As the rich children started buying and eating cone and cup ice creams, he invited the poor children to come near him and have one or two as they desired of ice cream made of raw ice from the man by his side. The glee in the children’s faces, looking at the man shredding the ice, fixing it over a stick and pouring coloured syrups, should be seen to be believed. Their joy multiplied when their demands for repeated helpings of sugary syrups were willingly met by the man. Kishore babu was a picture of contentment when he saw these kids were no longer eyeing the affluent children on the other side. Satisfied at the unexpected treat, they all gave him a shy smile before scampering off.

This became a hardy Sunday ritual with number of kids growing. But Kishore babu did not mind. He surprised them frequently gifting them T shirts, school bags or packets of biscuits or some such stuff. Though he did not talk to them much, the poor children looked upon their benefactor with certain fondness and awe. It was one Sunday Kishore babu had not turned up. The children were all eagerly waiting for his arrival. One of the kids ran across the road to his palatial bungalow and saw a huge crowd of people and an array of cars coming one after the other and stopping opposite the house. Promptly the other children also gathered and stood at a safe distance watching the movements. They came to know from a security guard who was shooing them away that the old man had died of a sudden cardiac arrest in the afternoon. The body was kept in the hall for the stream of distinguished visitors and relatives to file past. It was time for leaving for the crematorium. The eldest son of Kishore babu who knew his dad’s fondness for the poor children and his Sunday trysts with them asked the security to send them in to have one last look at their patron.

It was a measure of Kishore babu’s compassion when the visitors saw a huge retinue of poorly dressed children walking past the body in tears and uncontrollable sobs.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. A beautiful scene you had set and it was so hard for me to move beyond the lines: "Vendors were seen busy selling to the young and old jal mudi, gol goppas, alu tikias, ice creams of different brands and fluffy sugar candies in pink colour". Why? Because that 'fluffy sugar candy in pink color' is my all time favorite.

    Also loved Emerson's quote.

    Thank you!

  2. That was too kind of Kishore Babu...But as the saying goes, God call back people who are good really soon...Even if it was a story...wish if Kishore's Sons continued the gesture...

  3. thats a touching story....
    in everyone of us there is a kishore babu who wants to help others i guess...

    by the way, try watching the movie 180 :)

  4. I like the way you narrate the surroundings of a place, like you are explaining what the vendors sell etc.

    Though many of us want to help underprivileged children, we hesitate to take the first step. Kishore Babu must have died a happy and contented man.

    We can learn a thing or two from this story, Partha Sir, thank you!

  5. A very touching story indeed!!!!!!!wish we all could think like kishore babu atleast some times in our lives!!!

  6. I have actually seen a real Kishore babu who did this every morning..unfortunately some people dont realize what they are missing out on giving and sharing.. a lovely quote to mirror this story.

  7. Lovely quote to end an inspiring story!

  8. A very touching story. Loved the narration..
    Glad that you came to my blog and so did I discover yours. Going back to read your other stories too ..

  9. Touching Story. You have a knack of creating vibrant scenes which come alive in one's mind. The depiction of hapless kids eyeing the goodies is so striking.

  10. many say.. we feel sympathy toward the under privileged and downtrodden. But here we can see empathy. We need more people like him in our society.

  11. It should not take much to do good. And it need not always be towards a collective number of recipients. Truth is, we can do it up close and personal with just one or two of people we connect with in our daily lives. This tiny gesture of kindness springs out from a person's genuine desire to help another. Compassion always finds a way. For instance,passing on old clothes to the old lady who does your weekly laundry, food, a bottle of water to a thirsty mailman delivering our mail, some old item which someone else may have some better use for, and many more tiny yet admirable gestures of kindness and compassion.

    We can't always wait for the bigger opportunity to do some good on a grander scale. If we do that, we will be missing out on many other small yet significant opportunities to make a difference in someone else's life . Precious treasures often come wrapped in ordinary packages.

  12. That's he true hot of being a person..a real here he is indeed..:)

    Well expressed and i love the quote at the end :)

  13. Very touching story.. :)
    Reminds me of "Portrait of a lady" by Khuswant singh, though both stories are different, they both end in a smilar way..
    Keep writing Sir!