April 30, 2007

Water, water

Yesterday's Mumbai Mirror (Sunday April 29) carried a story called Mega Boys. Briefly: on Saturday, scheduled railway repairs on the suburban Central line "forced thousands of commuters to walk between Diva and Kalyan stations under the scorching sun." What happened then?
    Forty youngsters from Hanuman Nagar, which lies parallel to the railway tracks and is situated a mile away from Kalyan railway station, then pitched in to provide chilled water and juice to these commuters. ... Despite the heat that scorched her feet, 11-year-old Saraswati Vesangi provided water to troubled commuters and she said, "I won't get such an opportunity to help people again." ... They [have] decided to continue their services [for four more days that repairs are scheduled]. "We will take a day off from our job and distribute water to people. The satisfaction on tired commuters' faces after drinking a glass of water has been inspiring to us," said Avinash Bhosale, another volunteer.
The kind of effort that inspires, I'm sure you'll agree.

With that on my mind, I checked email this morning. My mother sent me a copy of letter that she has just printed and hand-delivered. This is that letter, reproduced verbatim:
    The Sr. Superior
    Sisters of St Aloysius Gonzaga

    Dear Sr. Superior,

    Around 7.45 this morning, thirsty and tired after a long walk, I saw your door open and knocked to ask for a glass of water. The Sister who was sweeping the room heard me and went off to report to someone and then reappeared and indicated I should go around to the side. I thought she meant the side door but with a wave she indicated that I should go out of the gate; she was joined by another young woman who said no firmly when I again asked for water.

    May I remind you of Matthew 25:35 and John 7:37 and urge your Sisters to remember their Christian spirit.

    The accompanying bottle of water could be kept by your front door and replenished to give the thirsty a drink.
I am tempted to do two things: introduce the Hanuman Nagar folks to the sweeping Sister, and begin a Munnabhai-style effort to deliver one bottle of water a day at that door.


Postscript: Someone asked, what are those biblical references? Here they are:

Matthew 25:35: For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in.

John 7:37: And on the last, and great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink.


amitscorpio said...

A very touching post!!

unfuel the planet said...

nice post... i wonder why it took me so long to locate ur blog