There was a heat wave across the country. It was sweltering everywhere and the only safe haven was air conditioned offices and stores. Veena was standing on the road, waiting to cross. It was lunch time and she had to go to a close by eatery to buy her lunch. As she waited for the vehicles to recede a small girl around 5 came to her begging for some money. The heat was so annoying that Veena just waved her hand, asking the girl to go on. She saw traffic thinning and without a second thought she quickly crossed the road.

Just as she started walking under the canopy of trees and into the eatery, she realized what had just happened. She just couldn’t bring herself to eat, thinking about that girl alone on the road in this smoldering sun. She also realized there must be many such children on the road. Veena got up and went back. She asked the girl if she had eaten anything, as the girl nodded in negative, she took the girl with her to the eatery. She asked the girl to sit down and ordered two meals for both of them. The girl was stunned and suddenly aware about her surroundings. She told Veena meekly “Please give me Rs.10, I will eat at the roadside shop.” Veena nodded and asked her to sit down. Just then a hot meal arrived and Veena didn’t miss the way the girl hungrily looked at the food.

From that day Veena was a changed woman, she carried small biscuit packets with her and gave it to the street urchins around her office. The children knew her as the ‘Biscuit Aunty’ and others as a xenial woman.


4 Replies to “Xenial – A hospitable stranger”

    1. That’s so nice and thoughtful of your son. So very true, we rarely think about these basic things

  1. Lovely story Neha – I think I know many peeps who keep something in their cars to give to street people especially in summers. But then there have been many instances where they have returned the stuff saying they want money!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.