Your slipper is suddenly torn while you are walking in the middle of nowhere (slippers, not shoes, precisely; shoes still have some more protection to rely onto but a pair of slipper is as helpless as its owner) has been an integral part or characteristic of a middle class Bengali. I perhaps don’t know any Bengali who has not faced it ever at any point of her/his life.
In such situations, we either try to find a cobbler near by. Or try to go back home limping, thinking about getting it fixed the next day… Maybe even buy some glue/adhesives & try to fix it for the time being with a lot of unskilled effort. And if we are too romantic or disgusted at that moment, we just throw them away & go back home bare footed.
In the area of my daily activities, I get to see a lot of kids roaming around selling a lot of things like incense, packed munching stuff, different kind of dusters etc. If people refuse to buy anything, they beg for some money. I neither buy things from them nor give them money. Sometimes if they say they are really hungry, I buy them food. I am not particularly talking about these kids, but in the past, in my younger days, I met such kids whom I gave money out of empathy just to realise they bought glue stick/adhesives for sniffing..
Today I bought adhesive for a kid. I did it consciously, not influenced by anything or anybody.. His slippers were torn so badly that he could not even limp, he was sitting on the pavement helplessly looking at his slippers and he couldn’t even afford to throw them either. I fixed his slipper with the glue and I am ready to walk some lightyears for the heavenly smile I received in return.
Little acts of kindness are indeed soul satisfying.
(Utsav’s experience on the road)