Another usual day. Snoozed alarm. Ticking clock. Red light at the signal. The ever crowded Bangalore public transport. Yet something seemed slightly unusual. An old woman, barely able to balance, was holding the support in one hand, trying to stand on her feet while she constantly wiped tears from her other hand. I do not understand the logic behind youngsters and adults sitting on seats while they watch the old stand, as if they are doing a favor to the old for having the time of their life swaying around.
Anyway, the old woman in the bus sat down next to the door. She would start crying as soon as she finished wiping her tears. I couldn’t help but ask what happened. As expected, she din’t reply. After another round of tears, she started her story. She said she was upset because she was denied of ragi mudde (a south Indian dish). I understood the pain. Not so much of the situational pain but the pain of craving for a dish and not being able to get it, it’s heart breaking! I felt terrible for having my thoughts deviated from her to food. But still, foooooooooood!! :p
Her constant cry put me back to thought. I guessed her kids may have abandoned her. She told she works in corporation, pointing at someone who was picking up the rags beside the street. Not knowing how to react, I stayed silent. She repeatedly kept telling she was denied of ragi mudde. My gesture of a sympathetic smile and a nod had gotten repeated a lot of times. I thought she will continue until I say something. So, not giving much of a thought, I said what seemed sensible -It is okay, you cook for yourself, it will be more tastier. To my surprise she took my words. I did not understand what had amused her so much in whatever I said.
She started thanking me, blessing me and shook my hand before she got down at her stop. Not exactly a hand shake, but you know how grandparents hold your hand, gesturing affection. Well, this seemed quite similar. It took me back to the times with my grandpa and grandma. Thatha paati as I would like to address them. They too liked it when there was someone who could give time to just listen to them. They stayed along in my thoughts through the day, as always.
That old woman I had met, made me wonder how a stranger’s words too can be so comforting if it is told out of true concern. We lose nothing if we give a small bit of our time to listen to someone in distress. Whereas it will mean a world to them when reassured that they are not alone. When you meet someone somewhere and you see them genuinely upset, just listen to them if they want to share something. You need not give a solution to the problem or spend anything for them. Just listen and tell them ‘It is okay’. And it will be okay.
Even to yourself at times. Those three words put together has great power than we understand. When you have put all your effort for an exam and still it goes bad, say it is okay. When you are about to finish the race and your legs suddenly gave up out of pain, instead of being too hard on yourself that you had practiced so much yet you lost, say to them it is okay, it is okay they ran the best they could. When you are sorry about having hurt your friend, yet they aren’t ready to accept your apologies, say to yourself, it is okay, it is okay that you lose people on the way and meet new ones instead. From small things to big, from silly to important ones, keep saying It is okay on your way and it will be 🙂