To my fellow Commuters

Daily Prompt

(The Kindness of Strangers

When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous, or selfless for you? Tell us what happened!)

He climbed on to the bus and scanned around for a seat. There was none. He was an old fellow, with stooped posture, few grey hair on his balding scalp and had two bags of grocery in his hands which didn’t look so heavy, but for him the burden looked too much.

Before I could get up and offer my seat to the said elderly some other guy in proximity did. And as the elderly sat down with a rush, and sighed audibly with relief, I saw the other guy smile.


This act is very common if you are a frequent traveller like me. People offering their seats to old men, old women, female passengers (the sentence is “ladies is there, seat”), and mostly pregnant and mothers with small toddlers.

And this is done in every single compartment, every single bus route. And it is entirely voluntary. (Sometimes though it isn’t as some have to be told to get up.)

And the answering murmured thanks and smiles are exchanged. Always. I have done this. Sometimes while studying in trains I’m offered seats and asked about my course.

These are strangers who do this. Strangers who help, who receive help. They may get off at the same station but they still assist.

This is local travels of Mumbai. Thousands of commuters travel to and fro from college, work. They(myself included) do the same travel every day. Know the tiredness we feel. And along the way they do this.

And it got me thinking why do this? Only then that I realized this is in fact the most basic(smallest) amount of kindness we could do.

Showing kindness to strangers. I realize this that it is only way kindness can be shown. I mean from my examples why are those things done? Nothing is gained.

When you assisting a stranger, you only expect a Thank You. And as it is received there is an automatic smile spreading across your face. You may never see that person again(This is Mumbai, you mostly won’t). But yet you help.

And that is according to me the most artless and selfless form of help. There is expectations, the person is not beholden,  and there is no master plan in it(I’m seeing too many movies to think this way).

And this is what I told my friend the other day, I’m gonna share it here too:
If you want to smile, first make others smile.

A quote from Evan Almighty:

God: How do you change the world?

Evan: One single act of random kindness at a time.

Let’s see what other have written:

8 thoughts on “To my fellow Commuters

  1. I too have stood at times for strangers who looked as if they needed a seat more than I did. Now I am older and have grey hair, strangers offer me a seat and I’m grateful because they don’t have to do it. I think it does make you feel good to offer this small courtesy and especially to see young people still do it without being asked.


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