It was a warm autumn afternoon and I went to attend a seminar, which was arranged by a writers’ association. I learned from the advertisement given in the local newspaper that here various notable literary persons were supposed to deliver lecture on the improvement of a writer’s talent and his/her expression of the ideas through the words. So I could not miss it and reached the venue at the stipulated time. This seminar was held in the hall of a school building and plenty of people assembled there. I saw that even many teachers and students of that school were present there too, whoever was interested in attending those lectures. Actually, there was no system of any gate-pass and thus, anyone could just walk in.
Hence, it was a huge crowd and after the initial session of lectures, given by the famous literary personalities, the audiences were asked to divide into groups and attend the workshops held in some classrooms, near that hall. I too joined some people in a classroom that was quite small. I was feeling hot and stuffy inside, as there was no arrangement of air-condition or cooling system. So I thought of keeping my shoes off for a while, as my feet were sweating! Lots of others were seen to be doing the same, in that stuffy room.
But the workshop was really enjoyable! But after spending one hour, watching various projects in that workshop, I decided to leave. Many more viewers had already left by that time. I stood up and tried to put on my shoes. To my horror, I discovered that it was not at all the pair of shoes that I wore that day! I was trying to slip my feet into someone else’s shoes, which were not of my size at all! Then I looked around and tried to spot my own shoes there. But in vain, as my shoes were nowhere in that room. I had no other way, so I came out of that room and looked in the corridor and even in other rooms of that school, wherever the workshop sessions were going on that day. But all those efforts were proved to be useless and final, I realized that someone might have worn my shoes by mistake and left the place earlier! But what was I supposed to do then? There was no known face, to whom I could turn for any kind of help.
I had no other option, other than to walk out of that building on bare feet! After all, I could not stay there for long, as most of the assembled people had left by then. The pitch of the road was still hot, due to the heat of a sunny day. I was having tremendous difficulty in walking down the street, without any shoes. Suddenly, an idea struck me that I could buy a new pair of shoes, if there was any shoe-stores nearby! I looked around, thinking of asking help from any passer-by, as that locality was unknown to me. Suddenly I saw that an elderly woman was walking towards me.
I went up to her and asked if she could tell me about a footwear shop, from where I could buy a new pair of shoes for wearing at that time. That lady seemed to be kind enough to lead me to another by-lane, where I saw a large shoe-store. She led me inside and even helped me choose a nice pair of sandals! But when I slipped my hand inside my handbag to pay the money, I got a second jolt! To my utmost horror, I found that my purse was gone! It must have fallen off somewhere in the seminar, when I took out my handkerchief to wipe off my sweat. But now what was I supposed to do? My mind was racing, should I call someone from my home, to come up with some money? But my home was quite far and it would be very taxing job for my elderly parents to come up so far in the evening!
That kind elderly lady, perhaps could read some problem, by seeing my horror-struck face. She asked me, “What is the matter, dear? Is there any problem?”
I had no other option but to tell her the truth. I also apologized to the shopkeeper, as I could not buy the shoes from him then. This good old lady suddenly stopped me with the signal of her hand and to my great embarrassment, took out some money from her purse and paid for my shoes! Moreover, she gave me some more money, for the bus fare to return home! I was completely speechless for some time and then I thanked her again and again from the core of my heart, for this wonderful kindness for an unknown person! I took her name and contact number, so that I could at least return her money; though her immense goodness could never be paid back.