Home Inspiration Inspirational Stories – A Shower of Kindness

Inspirational Stories – A Shower of Kindness

by Vidya Sury March 6, 2013 32 comments
Inspirational stories

Inspirational stories have always enriched my life.  Lately, I’ve been realizing that for every less than perfect moment, there is a pleasant memory to balance it off. I would like to share one such incident with you, dear friends.  Thinking of it always makes my heart full – and still brings tears to my eyes.

My Mom and I struggled through life for the most part. But as she always said, it is okay to face tough times when we are young – as long as things even out as we grow older. When we’re young, we are stronger. When we grow older, somehow we become more sensitive and things hurt more. But I digress. Let me share a story with you.

The year was 1987.

My Mom and I moved to a different city. Our income was meager, but we were brimming with attitude and positive that we would manage to make our lives better. We set goals, we made lists.

One of the items on my list was a cupboard. We only had a couple of hired chest of drawers, so I designed a cupboard and dreamed of making it. Some day.

Or so I thought.

A friend, who was a building contractor, assured me that we could make it ourselves.

Building my cupboard – my pride and joy

We got a carpenter.  We went and purchased the materials for the basic frame.  The carpenter put it together. We got the hinges for the doors and our basic structure was ready. We got the laminate cut and fixed it on the front of the cupboard. It looked beautiful. We fixed the glass on the top shelf to show off my miniatures collection.

Then we went and got some antique looking knobs for the drawers and the cupboard portion. We fixed those. We varnished the back of the cupboard – it was six feet tall and six feet wide, with a depth of one and a half feet. We also got four cute “legs”  lathed to fix under the cupboard to give it a lift, so it would be easy to clean under it. Though later, I found the space was perfect for me to keep my shoes.

We moved again

So – this lovely cupboard traveled with us from city to city – unscathed, in spite of its bulk. In 1992, we moved again to another city. We had an apartment on the first floor and somehow managed to carry it up. A few months later, we had to shift houses and found the fellas couldn’t figure out how to get it out of the house and into the vehicle.  I panicked. What to do? Obviously I couldn’t leave it behind.

As we shifted our other stuff to the new home, I was chatting with the autorickshaw driver I had hired for the day to help me move our stuff.  He asked me why I was looking worried. I told him the problem. (Yes, I talk to everyone like we are old friends).

And guess what? He said he was an amateur carpenter and would have a look at it to and see what we could do.

Inspirational stories

A savior is born – only I didn’t believe it then

Of course I was skeptical – but what did I have to lose? So I took him along and showed him the cupboard. He said it could be dismantled, carried over to the new place and put together again. Unlike Humpty Dumpty.  Shuddering at the thought of how my friend would disapprove – yes, he would –  I was stuck with the following options:

  • Risk tying it to lower it from the first to the ground floor with the possibility of it crashing – NO!
  • Having faith on the autorickshaw-driver-amateur-carpenter – dismantling it and putting it together at our new place – hmmm.
  • Risk damaging it while dismantling it – and then have the carpenter disappear, leaving me with a stack of boards that no one else would be able to fix. Oh, misery!
  • Leave it behind – NOT.

Anything could happen. The carpenter-autorickshaw driver left in the evening, promising to be back the next morning.

Stressing myself out

That night, I thought of how I lovingly arranged the cupboard, with my collection of wooden toys on the top of the cupboard, various things in the top glass half, audio tapes in the two flat drawers on the right and books in the three large deep drawers under them. On the left was the cupboard portion that took an unbelievable amount of clothes – all pressed and stacked according to color (yes, really. I am like that). I would wipe the brass knobs every other day and fondly look at them catch the sunlight at a particular time of day. The cupboard was my pride and joy.

I thought of the hours my friend and I had spent on making this cupboard and how excited I was the day we took it into our house, as a framework of plywood. Sigh.

Decision made

When the carpenter showed up the next morning, I had made my decision. I told him I was ready to trust him and he could go ahead and dismantle it. I asked him how much he would charge. He said Rs.100.00 (Today, that’s two US dollars.).  Back then, it should have cost me at least  Rs.500.00. I was suspicious of such a low quote… but as I said, something about him made me trust him.

A trust well placed, I thought, as I watched him first study the structure and then methodically unscrew all the external fittings and store them in a plastic bag. Then, he asked for a piece of chalk and a sheet of paper and a pen. He drew a sketch of the cupboard on the paper and matched the numbers as he numbered the panels in the cupboard with notes. I was impressed – it was the perfect way to do it! He proceeded to gently prise the nails off, patiently, until he was stacking the numbered panels neatly. In three hours, he was done.

My next stressful moment was when he took my new address and promised to come over at 10 am three days later. He did not take any money, saying he was fine with being paid after he put it together again.

Inspirational storiesWould he show up?

Now – those were not the days of mobile phones. We did not even have a land line phone in our house, and if you are wondering how we made phone calls, we used the public booth down the road for local and interstate calls. For interstate calls, we waited in line at 10 pm at night to take advantage of half rates and quarter rates after 11 pm. Depending on who we needed to call.

So what I am saying here is – we had no contact phone number for the carpenter. And no way to get in touch with him.
Well, still nursing a wee bit of apprehension in a corner of my doubting mind, I continued to move house and finished up in two days. And fell sick. The owner of the house we vacated insisted we should repaint it for them if we were to get our advance rent money back – and caught between a rock and a hard place, I got hold of a painter, got the material and got it done. And felt progressively sicker.

I got the advance money back (it is a small fortune as they expect a year’s rent in advance) and headed over to our new place, relieved – where Mom was anxiously waiting. Heaving huge sighs of relief, we settled down to our coffee ritual and felt good – we were in a new house, which was a two minute walk from her school and suddenly, the sun shone again.

Then of course, I had to remember the cupboard and we both wondered – would the guy turn up as promised the next day? The only thing left to do was to take a paracetamol (Tylenol) and go to bed and hope the next day dawned bright and clear.

It did.


Keeping the faith

The guy showed up at exactly 10 am. As promised.

He got to work

Just as systematically as he pulled it apart, he put it together again.

Saw me lying back on the divan. Sleeping off a bout of fever.

Sat patiently outside until I woke up, sweating.

Got one look at me and said he would be back in a bit.

Returned with idlis and coffee and a strip of paracetamol tablets.

Didn’t need those as my Mom had made everything for me….but oh, I was so touched and grateful.

I asked him to eat with me and after much fussing, he agreed.

Then insisted on washing up everything.

I paid him Rs.200.

He laughed and returned Rs.100 back, saying we agreed on 100.

And said something I’ll never forget for as long as I live: “If one human cannot care for another, help one another, what is the use of living?”

And telling me to take care, left.

I just sat there, Rs.100 in my hand, eyes filled with tears and a heart that felt full and happy to be alive.

Yes, there’s joy in this world. There are kind people in this world.

Believe it.

Inspirational Stories Kindness (2)

Yes. The Universe is indeed a friendly place.

And that, folks, is one of my fondest memories – and one of my favorite inspirational stories.

Life is full of miracles.

Do you have an inspiring story to share?

Do you remember an incident you experienced, that touched your heart?

I would love to hear it!


And now, I have two gifts for you:

Gift 1

My lovely friend Joy Holland has just launched her fabulous 30-day ecourse:  “Illuminate Your Heart Whispers: Thirty Days of Love Prompts with Joy Holland and 29 other bloggers – I am so excited because I contributed one of the Love Prompts.  Go take a look to see who the others are. The program is from March 13 to April 15, 2013.  You will receive a love prompt via email daily, for thirty days – and each prompt includes a dare – to gently nudge you. So – open your heart and get ready!

Registration for this series is from March 8-March 14, 2013. The cost is $30 for the session. But if you register before March 7, you only pay $24 – here are the details.

Joy is generously offering two readers of this blog – that means YOU – the gift of her new ecourse. Take a look at the details and email me to let me know your interest.  You will also receive some amazing bonus gifts with the ecourse.

Gift 2

Enjoy this lovely The Power of Kindness Movie it is a beautiful slideshow of quotes on kindness.


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Debbie March 6, 2013 at 7:40 pm

What a wonderful story Vidya. And the movie yes, is great too. Kindness does go a long way.

The only kindess story that comes to mind for me is when I was at the grocery store and there was a lady and her son ahead of me. She had very few groceries, but when she went to pay for them she didn’t have enough money to buy them.

I ask the cashier how much they were and after telling me I gave her $20 and told her to keep the change.

Her son looked at her and said, “Now we can have dinner.” i wanted to cry. And i felt so good. Infact my actions helped me I think more than her.
Kindness is a wonderful thing. i shouldn’t ask, but do you still have the cupboard? I know you do.

Thank you for sharing.
Debbie X
Debbie recently posted…Whatever You Give a Woman She Will Make Greater

Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 6:50 am

Dear Debbie, That story makes me want to cry too. The basic things we take for granted – are sometimes out of reach for many people. I try my best to do my little bit.

I am sorry to say I do not have that cupboard any more. When we moved to the current city we live in, in 1999, we had to leave it behind. But the good part is, it is with someone who cherishes it. I heard they divided it into three parts to accommodate it more comfortably. 🙂 I wanted to post pictures of this cupboard, but I did not have any, scanned. Those were the days of manual cameras. I’ll try and add one soon.


Vanita March 6, 2013 at 8:37 pm

you said i wouldn’t cry. but i did. i shed tears of happiness for you and from knowing that someone has shown you the kindness that you show me everyday. hugs sis. there are good people in the world and i am grateful for it. wish everyone was so caring of one another.
Vanita recently posted…Bounce Rate Defined Series: Your Irrelevant SEO

Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 6:46 am

Awww Vanita. The love is mutual – Hugs! I find that when we hold a belief, we attract it – and this opens our heart to receive. Love you!

Sandi Amorim March 7, 2013 at 12:38 am

I love who you talk to everyone like you’re old friends Vidya! Reminds me of the time my sister said to me during one of her visits, “Sandi, do you have to talk to everyone?” And I said, “No, I don’t have to, I like to!” 🙂
Sandi Amorim recently posted…It’s About Time (to disrupt your beliefs about time)

Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 6:35 am

Exactly, Sandi! I enjoy doing it. My son often asks why I can’t just quietly go along. 😀 I tend to chat everyone up – and it always makes me feel goooood! 😀 Hugs!

Emily March 7, 2013 at 1:24 am

That’s an incredible story, so inspiring and encouraging. And right now, it’s a story I needed to hear. Thank you.
Emily recently posted…a note before dinner

Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 6:27 am

Thanks, Emily! Hugs!

Elle March 7, 2013 at 2:57 am

Beautiful Vidya. How could anyone ever show you anything less than kindness and love…because that’s who you are kiddo.

Your story brought a little tear to my eye because of it’s sweetness. It was a happy tear.

Love Elle
Elle recently posted…The Secret Life Of You And Plants.

Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 5:45 am

Thank you, Elle! Hugs!

Mayura March 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

Hi Vidya,

A very (and very) beautiful story and it almost touched me 🙂

I must say that I’ve inspired by many BIG names, but it’s more than an inspiration when you experience it in front of your eyes. It’s funny that I’ve inspired by people whom I never knew of 🙂 Some of ’em are beggers.

We live in a BIG and COMPLEX world, and when we open our eyes, what we all see is people stuggling everywhere and minding their own businesses. When we need kindness the most, we might experience totally the opposite.

Kindness is in people who can truly feel others 🙂 Their pain, suffering and obstacles. Helping people generously can be a HUGE disadvantage for someone who seeks materials in their life.

I wish if we all look into ourselves and be more like the carpenter and spread the kindness everywhere as we can, the World would be a better place to live 🙂

Hope you are getting better now Vidya 🙂 Take care dear…

Mayura recently posted…How to Add Your Website to Google Webmaster Tools

Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 5:29 am

Thank you Mayura! Kindness always rules. In the end, it is all that matters!
I am fine now. Thanks 😀

Rahul March 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

That story of human kindness was just brilliant and the unsung heroes abound as long as you live with the fath of goodness in humanity, Vidya:)

Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 5:26 am

Isn’t it, Rahul? My life is full of unsung heroes. Thank you for your lovely comment!

Fran Sorin March 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Vidya- Your personal stories always grab my heart. But this one – well – it may be one of the most beautiful and descriptive one that I’ve read in a long time.

I feel blessed to know you – xxoo-Fran
Fran Sorin recently posted…Comment on How Breaking The Rules Helped Me Create My Dream Garden by Fran

Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 5:25 am

Fran, this is one of my own favorites. Each time I think of it, I calm down and it restores my faith. Hugs! I am blessed to know you too!

Sheila Schultz March 8, 2013 at 2:07 am

Once again , Vidya, you have calmed my soul. Thank you.

Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 5:25 am

Thank you, Sheila – I feel the same way!

Arlee Bird March 8, 2013 at 5:21 am

That is a great story. Something like this reaffirms a faith in the inherent good of humanity.

Now where is that guy? I need to hire him for a few jobs around my house.

Writers Workshop
An A to Z Co-host blog
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Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 5:24 am

Lee, Welcome! Sigh. So sad to say I never met him again. 🙁
I am so looking forward to the A to Z challenge!

Ghadeer March 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm

How beautiful!
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Vidya Sury March 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm

🙂 Welcome, and thank you Ghadeer!

Damyanti March 9, 2013 at 7:08 am

The world continues to exist because of such people. Sometimes, I feel sad that they remain unsung. Thanks for doing your bit in letting the world know of them.

Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013
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Vidya Sury March 9, 2013 at 7:49 am

Welcome, Damyanti! 🙂 You are right. Our every day contacts are often the most inspiring.

🙂 I am excited about the A 2 Z challenge… and I am enjoying your blog very much!

Vishnu March 9, 2013 at 7:25 am

I don’t know Vidya – kind of sounds like Jesus. have you seen this guy around recently ? did he have a beard? were there a few men (disciples) following him around? haha

thanks for sharing this inspiring (and true story!)

Vidya Sury March 9, 2013 at 7:48 am

Vishnu – he looked like a plethora of Gods to me, including Maha Vishnu. He was definitely equal to God!

Thanks for your comment 😀 You always make me smile!

Rika Susan March 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm

What an enriching and inspiring story, Vidya. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing it here. How I love this “If one human cannot care for another, help one another, what is the use of living?”. Isn’t that truly what life should be all about? May we all remember those simple, random acts of kindness that cost so little, but mean so much…

Vidya Sury March 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Thank you, Rika! I always marvel at the wisdom that comes from the most unexpected sources. I think of that carpenter as an angel. 🙂 And indeed, he left me a message that touched my heart. Thank you so much for coming by! 🙂

Ritu Lalit June 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm

This made me cry. Sometimes our lives are touched by angels, and you met one in this amateur carpenter of yours. Lovely post

Vidya Sury June 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Ritu, to this day, I cry when I think of that carpenter. It is strange I never met him again! I am convinced he is an angel sent to me when I was in need of one. Hugs and thanks.
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