My friend and I had shifted to Ahmedabad after getting enrolled in college. Since the college did not have a hostel, we decided to stay in a rented flat. Our parents, anxious as ever leaving their 18-year-old daughters in an unknown city, couldn’t help but request our neighbours in the flat below to look after us.
I never knew what ‘good neighbours’ meant until I met them. They helped us with everything, from getting the house cleaned before our arrival, preparing beverages to bills, people, food, even searching for homes for us when we needed to shift. We made them taste our very first roti which was so horrible as it was difficult to chew, and Aunty came to knead the dough. Uncle still said that it was the tastiest roti he had ever eaten! Not an ounce of judgment. When asked why they were so good to us, they replied that their son was also once all alone in Australia, and they knew how tough it is in a new city away from parents.
Once I moved, though, I lost touch with them apart from occasional chats.
Jatin Uncle died a few weeks ago. I realised no one would be able to take his place. My parents made me and raised me, but Uncle and Aunty made me a responsible citizen and a person capable of looking after herself. Their contribution is something that is going to remain unmatched in my life. Kindness was all around me, and I failed to see it then. But I see it now. And what a great feeling it is.
Kindness is all around us, All we need to do is open our eyes and see it.