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20Fw: The cab ride...

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  • Rupesh Kumar Muthu
    Nov 1, 2011
       Its heartwarming

      Cab Ride

      I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
      after waiting a few minutes
      I walked to the
      door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a
      frail, elderly voice. I could hear something
      being dragged across the floor..

      After a long pause, the door opened.
      A small woman in her 90's stood before me.  
      She was wearing a print dress  
      and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned
      on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

      By her side was a small nylon
      suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had
      lived in it for years. All the furniture was
      covered with sheets.

      There were no
      clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils
      on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
      box filled with photos and

      'Would you carry my bag
      out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase
      to the cab, then returned to assist the

      She took my arm and we walked
      slowly toward the curb.

      She kept
      thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I
      told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers
      the way I would want my mother to be

      'Oh, you're such a good
      boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave
      me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive
      through downtown?'

      'It's not the
      shortest way,' I answered

      'Oh, I don't mind,' she said.
      'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice. '

      I looked in the rear-view mirror.
      Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have
      any family left,' she continued in a soft
      voice.. 'The doctor says I don't have very
      long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

      'What route would you like me
      to take?' I asked.

      For the next two
      hours, we drove through the city. She showed me
      the building where she had once worked as an
      elevator operator.

      We drove through the neighbourhood
      where she and her husband had lived
      when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in
      front of a furniture warehouse that had once
      been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

      Sometimes she'd ask me to slow
      in front of a particular building or corner and
      would sit staring into the darkness, saying

      As the first hint of sun was
      creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm
      tired. Let's go now'.

      We drove in
      silence to the address she had given me. It was
      a low building, like a small convalescent home,
      with a driveway that passed under a

      Two orderlies came out to
      the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were
      solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
      They must have been expecting her.

      I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to
      the door. The woman was already seated in a

      'How much do I owe you?'
      She asked, reaching into her

      'Nothing,' I said

      'You have to make a living,' she

      'There are other
      passengers,' I responded.

      Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.
      She held onto me tightly.

      'You gave an
      old woman a little moment of joy,' she
      'Thank you.'

      I squeezed her
      hand, and then walked into the dim morning
      light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound
      of the closing of a life..

      I didn't
      pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove
      aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that
      day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had
      gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient
      to end his shift?
      What if I had refused to take the run,
      or had honked
      once, then driven away?

      On a quick review,
      I don't think that I have done anything
      more important in my life.

      We're conditioned to think
      that our lives revolve
      around great moments.

      But great
      moments often catch us unaware-beautifully
      wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


      You won't get any big surprise
      in 10 days if you send this to ten people. But,
      you might help make the world a little kinder
      and more compassionate by sending
      it on and
      reminding us that often it is the random acts of
      kindness that most benefit all of us.

      Thank you, my

      may not be the party we hoped for, but while we
      are here we might as well dance.