The year was 2002. It was in the evening when all the mothers were busy preparing dinner for the family. I saw black smoke coming up from the church from my kitchen window next to my compound. As I rushed down to take stock of the situation, I saw my neighbours standing there, each holding a bucket. Due to the dry season, there was a scarcity of water. A human chain was formed as we passed the buckets of water to hold fire till the fire brigade arrived. The fire brigade came, and the fire was doused. It was an exhausting experience, and everyone was drained. The next morning, I visited the caretaker's family, and that's when she narrated her ordeal to me. When the fire broke out, she had just laid the dinner for her family and was about to call her children. Her first instinct towards the scenario was to take her children to safety. Her children clung to her as everyone tried their best to save the church. It was way past their dinner time, and she knew they were all sleepy and famished, but none of her children complained. Just then, Mrs Lynn came with some casseroles packed with food for her family. When the whole neighbourhood was preoccupied with saving the church building, a mother empathised with the caretaker’s wife. This thoughtful act touched her family in such a manner that the mother was eternally grateful. At times, we are so lost in our own worlds that we fail to see or understand the need and pain of others. However, even a small act of thoughtfulness and understanding from the heart goes a long way in touching people's lives.
The Doon Girls' School, Dehradun