Growing up in Indian middle class family has sown seeds of Indian culture and values in me since childhood. I have seen my parents helping our neighbours, relatives whenever they are in need. Sometimes just your presence can make a difference in someone else’s life.
I was living in an affluent society and on the same floor where I had my apartment there lived an American lady Amy. She was may be forty. I meet her almost every day when I used to come back from work. The interaction was just exchange of greetings.
Two days in a row I didn’t see her I thought maybe she is out or busy somewhere. Then next evening I saw her lingering in her balcony. I waved her hi and hesitantly asked about her whereabouts. I knew that American culture is different from ours and people there don’t interact much and respect their privacy a lot. I am also brought up with similar values but definitely with Indian flavour. So I asked her if she is alright. She told me that she suffers from depression and from last few days she was under severe attack of it.
I then and still don’t know much about depression and how their patients go through it. But one thing I knew that she was lonely. A person is really alone when he or she doesn’t even have any one person whom they can talk to over phone.
It was weekend after two days so I decided to invite her for brunch. I am not a good cook but I managed to put together cold espresso, fruit salad, white sauce pasta, cookies & muffins (well muffins were from wholefoods). She came and we started chatting about our lives, work and random stuff. Then after gathering much courage I asked her to open the knots in her heart and just tell me everything why she is so worried.
Whatever she told wasn’t much shocking to me as this is very common phenomenon of western culture. She was raised by single dad; her mom never spoke to her in life, her dad re-married when she was five. She then was raised by foster parents. There was no hatred but any love at all. She then fell in love but that guy left her. She was left heartbroken thrice in her life. She don’t have social circle, friends. She had money but no friends, family to look up to. She told me that it’s been years that she has talked to someone about her feelings and life.
She told me that because I am an Indian girl that’s why I felt concerned for my neighbour else in US no one bothers about you. From that day we used to interact every weekend, even went out on shopping. I invited her to come to India sometime. Everything was planned but two weeks before her flight she passed away.
I think my Indian culture and values won heart of a woman who was a complete stranger. I was successful as a person after knowing that I was able to make a difference in her life.
And lot of people in my office were impressed with the fact that how strong our family ties were, marriages still work in India. I think Indian culture impresses everyone when someone gets to know about it. Indian culture growing global influence is evident from latest TVC of Lufthansa #MoreIndianThanYouThink
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