Sunday, March 6, 2011

Strange World,Stranger People

If a fellow is lying unconscious on the footpath what do we do? 

If an old lady inside a crowded bus is standing what do we do?

If we find a lone child crying in a park or a mall what do we do?

If a bag or a purse is found lying on the ground what do we do?

If we see two men fighting in the market street what do we do?

If we see someone trip of his bike on the road what do we do?

'Strangers are dangers' is what we have learnt since childhood.And strange indeed is the way we interpret and use this lesson for our safety throughout life.There is a universal feeling that strangers bring ill and evil which no wise man will want to experience.What we forget is danger always comes to everyone like a surprise guest,we never know what the next moment brings.In such dilemmas especially when it happens to someone who we do not know of,it is difficult to decide whether to take that one step forward and help.

It happened to me once,a young man  on a bike stopped in front of me while I was walking back home.He seemed to be tensed,looking at me he said”Madam,I need help!”I gave him a perplexed look and said”But I do not know you!”I started hurrying thinking he might be one of those from the chain snatcher's gang.He stopped me then and there and said”Madam,my wife has met with an accident and she is in the hospital,I forgot to get my purse while leaving home.My bike is out of petrol and I need to rush,can you give me a fifty rupees please”.Listening to him I had many thoughts rushing inside my head”What if he is just an another lying drunkard?What if his wife has really met with an accident?What if he is not married at all?What if my fifty rupees can help someone?”I did not know what to do,expecting my confusion he said”Madam,my name is Pradeep.I work as an engineer,you can take mine and my wife’s number.I will call you in an hour and return your money by today evening,please Madam!”It was not easy for me to refuse,I gave him the money and took his number.I called him in the evening to inquire about his wife,he did pick up the call and talk.He thanked me and even promised to meet me very soon.He was a decent chap or so I thought,I have never heard from him again.I still have my doubts about his story,who knows it might have been true.But I learnt my lessons well,strangers can be really strange!

After this weird happening I think a hundred times before I get into a stranger’s shoes.There were times when I could have actually helped a few of them without losing anything.But I chose not to,I was caught by the 'TBTC' Syndrome.Sometimes I feel we all have lost it to live together with humanity.The world belongs to people who believe in the principle of 'Saving my ass,making my money,having my fun and living my life'.

For most of us passerbys in emergency situations the feeling of responsibility and sympathy is largely a come and go phenomenon.Most of us just stand and stare as though we are watching a street play.We hesitate to help,there is always a second thought in our mind before we intervene.We feel that helping strangers in distress is something like buying atom bombs for ourselves.We do not feel responsible and find no necessity to help when someone is in trouble,simply because each one of us know and allow ourselves to tell”It is none of my business,I am too busy to care!”

There is something called as the 'Bystander’s Effect’ according to which more the number of bystanders less likely that someone offers help,this is indeed true.In a large group the responsibility is least likely to be taken by anyone because each one expects the other to do.Is that person’s life any less important than our kith and kin’s?What if it was us on the road instead of him?These are a few things everyone should think about.God forbid,if something bad happens to us or our near and dear ones on the streets we will have nothing more than a bunch of curious men and women just looking at what is happening.

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us everyday”-Sally Koch
Sometimes circumstances can be nasty,some unavoidable risk may follow us while helping someone and how well we can handle that depends on our goodness,willingness and strength.Some people may even misinterpret our intentions if we offer them any help.Trust does not come easy in this age of melting morals.It is not really easy to decide what to do during such moments.But there will be no time to think at all,some presence of mind and a little empathy from our side are things that can really matter.Some situations are like a blessing,a small help that we offered to someone on someday may bring a joy that will last all our life.Not everyone gets a chance to experience a stranger’s gratitude,when even a smile is hard to exchange in today’s times.

In our world we find little time and opportunity to pay attention to ourselves and our family,no wonder it is difficult to show some unconditional care for somebody else.We have a hard and long way to go.If there is anything that we can do for someone wanting help without harming anyone or ourselves,we should go ahead and do it.I know this is easy to say but tough to practise.We can only wish that this'Too busy to care’belief of ours will change some day into'Too glad to aid’,for who knows it may be you,me or anyone amongst us next needing help on the street.

PS:This post is written as a part of

I am too busy to care, but want to do something. 
Jaago Re and are helping me do my bit for the society.


writingsonthewall said...

nice post Raksha :)
But if u are in bangalore and you gave him the money then be assured it wont come to you back and most of all he duped you. I am 120% sure abt this.
For what happened one fine day when I was returning to my home in bangalore, A descent man with rim glasses, sauve mobile came to me. poor chap had somehow forgotten his purse in home and had an urgent call to make. He asked me if I can lend him some money for recharge. He gave me his number and said Tom he would return it. I insisted if he can make call from Mine. He said it urgent and might take time. Okie, I gave him 50 bucks. he assured me to pay back next day.
That same evening luckily I helped another person who had been pick pocketed and needed money for petrol.
And it was heights when 2 days after, while I was walking back... A person holding luggage in one hand and a girl in another came to me. He said, Sir Do you know hindi? Yes. Sir we have been robbed and we need to go bacj=k to my place. and i dont have money for tickets. This was heights. I got enraged. This was third time and i'm not oging to be fooled again... I simply said I dont have money...

What do you think abt this?
It's some 10% of ppl who create bad name for 90% of starngers we meet daily.
Krazy Memoirs

Raksha Bhat said...

@writingsonthewall: Hey thanks for reading!Guess the length of your comment sent it to my spam folder.I had a six back to back in my inbox,I have deleted the rest and fixed it.I appreciate your patience and effort;)

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...


yeah, in today's world, its painful to think, but if someday i am hit by a vehicle on the road, no body is going to help me.... that's the truth.

Liked the bystander's effect theory that u mentioned. It's like the hindi saying - a child of two mother will always remain hungry. and also its the Bhedchaal, that affects us.

Sad but true,and even if someone wants to help, it's scary.


MuddassirShah said...

First thing, you have a knack to get some awesome themes for your blog.

I loved your write up for the blog adda contest. Hope you win :)

Beyond Horizon said...

The pic certainly says what goes in each mind...during such situation

I really hope that change to 'Too glad to aid’ come soon.

I won't deny that yes even am scared to help someone stranger...since now a days bad prevails more than good

and said it rightly what if someday we need the help? then what?

Best of luck!

Sam said...

Nice post..! But I really don't know where and how to draw a line between helping people who really need our help and getting conned. Currently my guiding principle is - if you feel it do it. Whether people really need it or not.. it doesn't matter. You wanted to do good. So.. just do it if you feel like it.

Sarah malik said...

another extremely thoughtful and touching post from ur side! u really are a talented writer who manages to knock deep down ur readers soul.
yes v r too busy too care and circumstances are the easiest part to be blamed.
i guess i too will try n come up with something for this initiative by blogadda :)


Raghavendra Mutt said...

@ Raksha: What u said about strangers is about 90% true.. That's because some do turn out to be real & true.. Happened with me 1 such incident.. But a very thought post form your end.. Keep writing..:D


Raksha Bhat said...

@ A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart!: Frightening thought indeed!

@Md. Muddassir Shah:Haha,nothing of that sort.Some templates that I come across tell me "This SHOULD BE on my blog!"...thanks for reading..long time I saw you here:)how have you been?

@Beyond Horizon: Poetess Poo thanks for reading!:)

@Sam:Guess thats the only positive thought that can help:)Thank you for reading:)

@subtlescribbler: I think you should Sarah:)Thank you for those wonderful words,am just an another blogger and a blog is all that i have:)

@Raghu: Welcome here...thanks for reading Raghu:)

Nandita Prakash said...

very nice post sweety
keep it up

Raksha Bhat said...

@Nandita Prakash: Thank you:)

Doc said...

Hi Raksha,
Your post on the stranger - stranger interaction is spot on.
Through your write up, am sure just like me, many other readers will agree we too have had at least a couple of such incidents in our life already.
Just to cite an example. 2 days ago, I was outside a children's park when 2 drunk guys [figured that when I helped them up] on a bike rammed into an Activa driven by an elderly couple. My first instinct was to help them off the road and ensure no serious injuries occurred. In a matter of seconds, a crowd had formed and since the incident occurred just outside the Traffic Police station beside the park, they took over immediately.
On the other hand, 2 weeks ago at my native place, I was attending the festivities with my cousins when a group of young drunk men were eve teasing a woman and it was getting overboard. My cousins immediately frisked me off from the vicinity saying "It's best we don't get involved in such matters".
I am sure you get the hang of what am saying.
How we respond to a situation like this depends partly on our personality, in addition to assessing the circumstances. I suggest, go with your gut, cause more often than not, you will be right.
Cheers for a thought provoking post Raksha, keep posting :)

Bikram said...

lovely post
Well If i put myself in such a scene then let me answer you, you might find this offensive of selfish but his is me..

If it happens in UK someone is sick or hurt on road or whatever I have always helped them .. well you can say thats part of my job duty or off duty ..

If it was india i will think twice.. I have had some very bad experiences out there for helping someone in need.. and not just once but tice now .. so yes I will probably call the police or hospital to help someone but put my hands on , I doubt if i will do it ..

Its a tricky question depends on what one has experienced but this is my take on it , here me going hands on no second thoughts .. and i preay to god that it happens that way ..


Raksha Bhat said...

@Doc: Thank you for sharing your experiences and liking the post as well:)

@Bikramjit: Yes tricky indeed,glad to see many of my fellow bloggers discussing so much about this TBTC syndrome here,hope we all do something about it:)

Sudha said...

I have now stopped giving money of any kind to help people. This is probably an unfortunate outcome of being cheated many times. I prefer to volunteer my time and efforts. If someone asks me for money for wife/ mother/ father/ child's illness, I say that I'll come with you and see the affected person and then give you the money. It always works as these people immediately backtrack.

Proshant said...

'diffusion of responsibility'-that's what we call it in social psychology...
'the common Indian dilemma'-that's what I call it.

why do we need the prospect of impending, inevitable doom to shove out our humane side? it is too much to do so more often?
well, considering the quantity of humanity we have left, I suppose it is so...

Thought-provoking post, I must say!

Raksha Bhat said...

@Sudha: Thank you for that idea,maybe I should try that Sudha:)

@Proshant: Hmmm...yes maybe..sometimes we forget to be humane...welcome to th blog and thank you for liking the post:)

Unknown said...

very nice post....!!!

Jai Ho MangalmaY hO

Stranger said...

nice post...
jst loved it!!!

Rituparna said...

Have you seen the movie "Pay it Forward". It is a true story, a small child started a revolution in USA. He helped a person and said that if you want to thank me just help someone else. We in our busy lives really do forget that we could be in those shoes. Loved the post. I hope people take a good lesson from the read.

Raksha Bhat said...

@ विवेक Call me Vish !!: Thanks!

@Stranger:Hmm...for a second your name made me smile,thank you STRANGER!Haha:)

@Rituparna: Thank you for liking!Will watch the movie,thank you for the suggestion:)

Deguide said...

When somebody is in real need you can make out by the scenario unfolding in front of your eyes. Never get carried away by people who come by bike and approach you to part with your money. Most of them are rouges, some of them will sell you a designer watch or shades too. Don t be surprised some of them don a police helmet too. I one guy doing it to me. Right in front of CM s residence for your information in dollars colony Lolz

Kunal Chichkar said...

Nice post.. Everyone of us wants to help others who are in need of genuine help.. But thats the most difficult part to identify whether the need is genuine or not.

Raksha Bhat said...

@Deguide: Welcome to the blog!Situations can be really deceptive at times,it is very hard to decide.No wonder we think a hundred times before helping someone,eventually everyone is bitten by the TBTC bug!

@Kunal Chichkar:You are right,thats the toughest part and we end up not helping!Thanks for reading Kunal:)

Pramod Sudarshan said...

It was a good read:)
best thing according to me is to help them n think thats it definitely helped some1..if u get back the call,well n good...if not,u still have the feeling that u helped..which should be enough!!

Raksha Bhat said...

@Pammy: Blessed is me!!!After so long on my blog!!!I share that thought of yours about strangers by the way:)Thank you Mr.Orthopedician in the making:)

sajeev kumar menon said...

nice post on the importance of courtesy in our lives. Ofcourse, there are strange people everywhere, but the thought of helping is only a virtue in a chosen few nowadays!

Unknown said...

this reminds me when i had seen a little boy crying at panambur beach in Mangalore, after 6.30 pm when everybody were leaving the beach, i went near him and asked his name, his reply was not audible. he hadnt the knowledge of where he was from ( the place) or his house name, and his parents name. he was very small. and i became tensed that nothing could be traced out. he had been in a white small kurtha. luckily, his parents came searching, and i was astonished that they didnt show any guilty feeling when they talked to me.!

Raksha Bhat said...

@sajeev kumar menon: Rare virtue actually!Thanks for reading:)

@VASTUDARSHAN:Ah that beach,one of my favorite place on this earth:)Nice to see people sharing their experiences here.Good that you wanted to help him,but gratitude does not come easily,so never expect it:)Thanks for being here!

T F Carthick said...

Very nice write up. I usually get bored with all the preaching type posts but yours was interestingly written and kept me glued till the end.

Raksha Bhat said...

@The Fool: Glad that it kept you hooked:)Thank you for reading and interpreting:)

Chitz said...

nice one hear my gadget speak

yashika said...

very nice post

Rajendra Raikwar said...

great efforts