act of kindness

The breadwinner

As soon as the little boy was handed a packet of bread, he scuttled away to the far corner of the street.

Being met with distaste or a short gasp of revulsion didn’t bother 10-year-old Sameer. His unkempt hair, shabby shirt, and broken teeth might be a thing of disgust for others, but not for him. He had bigger things to worry about.

Overshadowed by his hunger strained face, his innocence had started to fray at the ends. Squatting outside the bakery every day, he would patiently wait for customers to drop him scraps of food. Strangely, as soon as he received something, anything, he would immediately scamper off to the end of the street.

Observing this odd behaviour was Neil, one of the waiters at the bakery. Every single day, he would bear witness to the situation with silent stoicism. As much as he felt sorry for the kid, he couldn’t help but be curious about why, after persistent badgering for food from customers, would he disappear, instead of satiating his hunger right then.

One day after his shift, Neil decided to follow Sameer. Not wanting to make himself conspicuous, he hid behind a pole away from the kid. As expected, the usual charade repeated itself. As soon as the little boy was handed a packet of bread, he scuttled away to the far corner of the street. Neil hurried after him.

Stopping just a few feet away from where the kid was now standing, the scene which unfolded before him washed him with an emotion that he had never felt before. Sameer was standing in front of a shack that was muddy and weathered down with age, inside which lay curled on the hard ground was a dog, with a litter of six puppies latched on to her. Carefully stepping inside so as to not disturb the puppies, he spread out his day’s win before the dog. The feeling of joy and gratitude in the Mama dog’s eyes was priceless.

That day Neil learned that one doesn’t need a deep pocket to be generous. Whenever there is someone in need, life gives an opportunity to be kind. For Sameer, his simple act of kindness was enough to show there is love and kindness to be found in this world, no matter what the circumstances are.


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