Kindness and generosity go hand in hand. One always leads to the other.

Hakeem, the bus driver jammed the brakes and jolted the bus to an abrupt halt.

``Why this halt?’’ asked Charles the conductor, `I did not ring the bell’’.

``What! Have you forgotten that we always stop here to pick up.’’

``Oh yes! I did not realize that we are already at the corner.’’

Just then an old lady pressing a bright bouquet of flowers against her side appeared at the door of the bus. Chandra tipped his cap, bent low and gave her a hand, to help her come inside the bus.

The old lady slowly climbed up the stairs of the bus and sat besides Hakeem. Five stops later, Chandra once again helped her to alight, just in front of a graveyard.

``Good bye, mother! So long! Till we meet again tomorrow.’’

``Thank you, my son! May God bless you’’. Came her feeble but simple reply.

Everyday Mrs. Ehrembacher made this trying trip by bus in order to place on the grave of her dear husband a bouquet of fresh flowers and to say a prayer for his soul.

Hakeem and Chandra took delight in helping this widow daily too fulfill this pleasant duty. At first they could hardly get to speak a word but by kindness and sympathy they succeeded at times to have her wrinkled face light up with occasional smiles.

one day Hakeem said jokingly to her, Grand mother, the day Chandra presents you the bill for the trips you have made on the bus, you will have to sell all your possessions to pay the debt’’.

``No, Grandma, don’t worry about it. We will foot the bill. You need money to buy roses everyday and to attend to your stomach. We are only too happy to do you a good turn everyday,’’ replied Chandra. He set the old lady’s mind at ease. Grandma remained silent for awhile and then gazing at these two young men smiled with joy.

One day as she took her seat in the bus she held out a beautiful rose to Hakeem, `this is for you, my son’’. Hakeem willingly received it and placed it on the lapel of his coating saying, Grandma, now I look years younger and more handsome’’.

The passengers twittered with laughter but Chandra who felt that he was forgotten murmured, ``what about me, grandma? Have you forgotten to bring me a rose? Grandma replied, `I m getting older and my memory fails me. I shall bring you one tomorrow’’. The next day she brought two roses as she had promised and both Chandra and Hakeem appreciated this kind gesture.

So many and many a day passed, till one morning Hakeem stopped the bus near the corner as usual, but sad to say Grandma was not there. Was she sick? The sad news of her death shocked Chandra and Hakeem. They felt like orphans at the departure of this daily passenger of theirs.

Two days later, the manager of he company received a letter for bus driver Hakeem and conductor Chandra. Hakeem was opened the envelop cover. It was the last will of Mrs. Alosia Ehrembacher. In there, she declared both Hakeem and Chandra to be the equal heirs of her savings amounting to Rs 3 lakhs. Hakeem and Chandra could not believe their eyes, and they wept with emotion.

It is difficult to say which was greater: the kindness of the bus crew or the generosity of the old lady.

 

 


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