January 28, 2010


Just as I have condemned Kolkata for its cheaters, I have been floored by its unbridled generosity. Today on my run, no sooner did I stumble on the treacherously uneven sidewalk and plunge faceward into the rocks did 2 men pull me up off the ground by my shoulders, a herd of men surround me, gathering and discussing, immediately trying to examine my body for injury and recount the accident to locate the cause, offer me a place to sit at their chai stall, brush me off and wash my cuts with their hands and water, rub antibiotic ointment on my cuts, and give me chai, all the while muttering dramatically in Bengali. Meanwhile, I was so astounded by this gratuitous emergency response by street standers that I only sat speechless as I tried to recover; nevermind that I couldn't respond in Bengali. I have never been given so much care so suddenly by such complete strangers. It is this extreme sense of kindness, this unquestioned concern for others, this fellowship of humanity, that brought me to tears this morning, far more disarmingly than the pain of the wounds themselves.


  1. Fascinating, and a far cry from Pittsburgh. Keep up the postings! The Gotaskies.

  2. Glad you're seeing the good along withe the bad. Fascinating posts! Love, Mom