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Language No Bar.

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by shivachoubey, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. shivachoubey

    shivachoubey IL Hall of Fame

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    when I was young and in college , one day I went to a small restaurant to get Chinese take away. While I was waiting an elderly woman (who was related to the owner I guess) started talking to me. I don't know what she was saying as she was talking in some language that I did not understood. I smiled and I tried telling her that I don't understand but then she didn't understood me as well.

    I smiled at her and she kept talking. What I made from her gestures was that she was missing being back home. She cried and I consoled her. Some how her pain and my sympathy was enough for us to communicate, it did not matter that neither of us understood each other. It was sufficient for me to understand that she was in pain and for her to know that I am lending her my ears.

    Last year when I was no longer young, a bell rang in my house in UAE. This was the time of Palestine-Israel war and it was very common for Palestinians to come and ask for money.
    Me and my husband would always donate but that day was different for us too. Both of us were in the same company and had lost our jobs. We had debts to repay and had no idea where we will be headed and the job market looked sad. My husband picked up a coin (because that was all that we could afford to donate to people coming at our door every second day) and went to answer the bell.

    He came back and told me that there is a woman at the door. Whats unusual about it, it was usually women who came for money.
    My husband told me that she has a very small child in her hand and he just can't give her a coin. SO I grab a 5 dhiram note and went to see the woman.

    There she was, standing in the blazing sun with a small child in her hand. My heart just gave tug. She bowed to me to show her thanks. I smiled back to her and she smiled back to me. She then spoke something in strange language and gestured that she has 9 kids. She did not ask for more money but she was smiling sadly. She looked such a polished woman and the pain of war was clear on her face.

    I said bye to her and came back in my house. Suddenly I realized I have lots of ration in my pantry. If not money then food is something I have. The food could easily feed her children for few days. I asked my husband to run and call her back but he said she must have moved on and where will he go in blazing sun to search for her.

    Anyways he went out, she was sitting against a wall in the next block feeding the baby. My husband just gestured her to come back to the house. When the bell rang again, I gave her packets full of ration, few food packets were still sealed. The joy was pure on her face. She kept talking to me with utter joy. The gesture of blessing, in no matter what religion or faith, is unmistakable. She just kept putting her hand on my head with joy and kept bowing to me. I was happy that at least her kids won't go hungry for sometime.

    After 2 days my husband got a call from a company asking him to head Oman operations. It was a dream job offer for us , especially when we had lost all hope. I went to my god and bowed in front of him to say thank you but the image that flashed in my eyes was the face of that woman.

    May be it was god's way to test us in time of need, to see how much we can give when we have little ourselves or may be it was that woman's blessings that she gave me in a language that I did not understand.

    2 months back I came to Muscat. My husband called me within 2 days of getting the house, so I entered a house full of unpacked boxes. My husband as usual was very happy about the idea of him getting the home cooked breakfast. I prepared a nice hot breakfast and was waiting to enjoy it with my husband after 2 months of separation. But the moment I reached for salt, there was no salt. I searched everywhere in the kitchen but in vain. The salt bottle from our previous house was empty, there was less than a pinch left. My husband dear, in his excitement has just forgotten about the salt.

    I decided there is no harm in asking neighbors for salt. Come on, salt is cheap every where. So I went to the front apartment and rang the bell. My neighbors are Omani and the lady of the house opened the door. I said "I need some salt" with a nice humble smiling face. But she didn't understood a word. It was plain that she only understood Arabic. So I just gestured her to wait, ran inside my apartment and I got the bottle of salt. I made the sprinkling salt gesture and she said "Aaah", took my bottle and came back with 1 teaspoon of salt. She said something to me which I didn't understand.I said thank you to her and came back.

    Though it is really cheap of me to crib but I did feel disappointed. I told my husband that back in India I would have filled the salt bottle (it was a small one) if someone asked me for it. After 2 hours the bell rang and my husband answered the door. My Omani neighbor got a brand new packet of salt for us. I guess she must also be running short of salt and so just gave me little at that time. I felt so much gratitude and love towards that lady.

    That very evening I took a box of chocolates for her kids and told her "Shukran" (Arabic word for thank you), she understood and smiled at me.

    Now there is an unwritten code between us women. Whenever we see each other we bow our heads and smile. She has small kids who sometimes bang my door and howl in front of my apartment, their mother is quick to stop them but as a neighbor I never complain, in fact I always greet her little kids with love and respect.

    Who says people of different caste, religion and language cannot gel together or live together.

    To the person who says so, please note, we live in the same country, in the same building on the same floor with complete harmony and respect for each other.
     
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  2. radsahana

    radsahana Silver IL'ite

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    Hey shiva,

    Wonderful post.

    My mother will always say, whenever possible try to help others, and dont expect same person should help you back. God is there and when you are in need, you will be helped by god in some human form.

    So i try to follow her footsteps, i will always try my best to help anyone in need.
     
  3. shivachoubey

    shivachoubey IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Radhika,

    Thanx for reading the post. Your mother not only made you a good human being but also made you a good soul. A helping gesture always feels so good. Have a great day ahead.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  4. monifa13

    monifa13 Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Shivachoubey -
    Loved your post. My mother also used to tell me 'Pray to God that your hand always should always be on top (giving others) and never should be at the bottom (taking from others) and there is so much pleasure and blessing in giving.' She also used to say 'streatch your hand to receive God's prasad and to elders who give you anything with love' which I have followed to this day..
    Thank you so much....
     
  5. shivachoubey

    shivachoubey IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Monifa13,

    Thanx for reading. I really liked the part where your mother said "stretch your hand to receive God's prasad and to elders who give you anything with love". God I knew but from now on I will also stretch my hands to elders who give me anything with love. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Have a great day ahead.
     
  6. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Shiva,

    Welcome to snippets with this lovely heartwarming story, a real one, and so very touching.

    Yes it was gods way of testing u, u gave with ur heart, u felt hjer pain, haivng 9 hungry children, and god felt yr pain, and gave yr hushand a great job.God helps those who helps others.And he gives manifold.

    and the great thing is, u helped her, wihout expecting anything in return, which is a very noble thing to do, not many are like u.God will always bless u and shower u with thing u cannot even dream, mark my words.

    and the salt thing, whjat can i say, she went and got u a new one.So touching.

    Keep wrioting, and i am nominting this post.Welcome to Snippets Shiva, god bless u, and keep writing.

    Regards

    kamal
     
  7. amihere

    amihere Platinum IL'ite

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    Shiva dear such a wonderful post.When we help the needy we wont know from which all way help comes when we badly want it. Even I was thinkign the same while reading aboutt he salt incident, but felt guilty when I read she came to you with a brand new packet of salt. This teaches us anoter lesson not to judge anyone with just one incident.
     
  8. knot2share

    knot2share Gold IL'ite

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    Nice write up Shiva! I too agree with all here. It was your generous heart that made you do what you did and when they say what goes around, comes around...see your hubby got a superb posting in Oman. It was that lady's prayers and good will. God/Luck came to you in her form just to test you. And Kamalji's has put his seal on this post and nominated...well you have the good will of many here on IL. Take care and keep up the good work.
     
  9. feduptocore

    feduptocore Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Shiva...
    this only goes to prove that there is a circle of good in this world... whatever good you do will come back somehow some day some where and keeping doing good and keep benefitting...
    I really don't know of the bad but I guess that is there too....
    but for now let us all just concentrate our energies for the good of the world...
    K
    P.S. moral to learn from your Omani neighbour... lets not be too quick and harsh to judge people... never know whats happening behind their closed doors
     
  10. Tubelight

    Tubelight Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi Shiva
    That was a wonderful heartwarming narrative about the value of friendship and humanity which really need no verbal communication. I believe too that it was the blessing of the poor woman to whom you gave rations that brought you good karma. Good begets good. God is not even involved in this very straightforward equation.
    The kind gesture of your neighbour who bought salt for you is truly amazing ! Its because of noble people like these that the world is still a beautiful place inspite of ugly wars and hateful strife.
    A real feel good article, Dear. Nourishment for the day !:thumbsup
     

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