February 7, 2010

Beautiful Sights in France: Heart-warming sights of goodness

Here are few of the beautiful things I saw in France. Being in the French-riviera, beautiful scenes implicitly implies the snaps of the sea and the Alps; however, the most beautiful sights I saw are based around the good deeds of the bus drivers in this region.

1. Lady Bus-Driver at Garbejaire :
The first month I had to stay in a hostel called CIV, which required me to take the bus from a stop called Garbejaire. Children going to the schools near CIV also used to get down at this bus stop. One day, after the other passengers got down, I saw kid jump from the bus. The kid began to run towards the direction of the woods and it appeared he had no intent of talking the walking path leading to the school. A matter of seconds later, the bus which had gone a few meters ahead stopped, a beautiful young lady jumped from the bus, ran behind the kid, caught him with his bag and escorted him a few meters in the walking path. A few words with the parents escorting their children to school might have given her the assurance that the kid would in-fact go to school. She adjusted her hair and dress while walking back to the bus, got back in the bus, started the engine and drove the bus away. Yes, a public transport bus driven by a lady, who stopped the bus to run after a kid to make sure he goes to school.

I felt ashamed that I could not help the lady, but I was proud of the responsibility showed by her. No one would have questioned her if she had left the bus without stopping the kid. She didn't think twice before stopping the bus beyond the bus stop having its front end in the middle of the road. She did what she felt was right, and that is the very reason why these few seconds have made a permanent impression in my mind.

2. Helpful driver at Templiers:
The bus number 11 had stopped at the Templiers bus stop; about ten seconds after the door had opened, the first passenger who was trying to get down could be seen. A small kid with a box covered with shreds of gift wrapping was trying to get down from the bus, one step at a time. His mother was helping him in the last step as he was having a tough time balancing the gift (which he refused to give to his mother) in one hand while trying to descend. After he was standing on the foot-path, the mother went back. I could see the bus driver helping the mother get down with a baby pram with a toddler gurgling and playing with gift-wrapping paper. When the pram was on the footpath, he helped the mother adjust the wheels of the pram, which had been jammed apparently when it was in the bus. All this time, the bus was stopped. None of the passengers complained about delay, and the driver did not give petty excuses, such as get down quickly -- you are delaying the bus. It was a really simple but beautiful gesture of helping a mother with two kids.

I had seen such similar behavior of goodness when I was a kid in Pune. The most striking one was when my mother came to pick me up for some reason. One of the teachers, who taught in the secondary school and who knew I used to take the school bus, stopped my mother. After confirmation from me that the lady taking me was my mother and the similarity in the faces made her smile, followed by an apology which was was not necessary. My mother still uses this incident as an example while recommending my school to her colleagues.

I realized that such good incidents used to happen around me all the time, however, for reasons unknown I used to ignore them. The ones doing such good deeds do not required explicit encouragement; they do it because they know it is the right thing to do, and they will continue to them; however, a simple gesture such as a smile to acknowledge their goodness can be a really useful source of encouragment.

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