As the money left my hand it instantly made me feel better about the day. A little, old Indian man was feeding fresh fish to a group of alley cats and crows, I couldn’t resist making a contribution.
Maybe the fish wasn’t so fresh and maybe some of the cats scared me a bit… but at that moment it felt like I had never been touched by anything so deeply. I even found myself saying, “May God bless you” to the man.
He was unaffected by how dirty or sickly some of them looked. They were important to him, even in all this.
I had taken a break from “trying” to cross the street in Mumbai without getting killed, and being aggressively harassed to purchase scarves while running errands.
This man’s simple act of generosity amongst all the chaos marked me. A break from the ever-present hand of cruelty. Hungry people, hungry animals, and a government and upper class that doesn’t seem to care.
The ones we’ve forgotten about. Scavenging children and animals surviving only on what is being given up, or thrown away. Stealing food from another mouth in an attempt to survive. No rules, no fear. Nothing.
What scene would render you speechless? There’s a naked man asleep on the sidewalk. Unable to process what you just saw? From the balcony of their high rise luxury homes they can see those that lie on the sidewalk in rows and rows… and rows…
Don’t you love it when the world restores your faith in humanity just when you need it the most?
A man from Rajasthan asked me if I could write a letter for him in English.
It was to, Celia the woman he was madly in love with. He wanted to express in a language he couldn’t write,
“How he didn’t want to live without her, even for one minute.”
He signed it with one thousand kisses, and toothlessly kissed my cheek in thanks.
Memory. These lessons I struggle not to forget.
Read more: Fallen Angel On the Run