Monday, May 09, 2011

A Mitzvah a Day

When I started to write, as often happens, I was torn between blob subjects. First, I thought the subject would be “used to”. What and Why you are thinking. Because a few days ago, when we went out to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we went to Block Heads -- which has the best and cheapest Margarita in NYC. They also have the best and cheapest guacamole… but you cannot order food outside. You can, however, go inside to take-out and order these specialties and them outside where the margaritas can be consumed and the guacamole devoured at the same time.

This has no direct connection with the subject of “used to” but it triggered a memory of when I was living at the Taj Hotel in New Delhi and (here it comes), I “used to” order my porridge from room service and have it delivered to the dining room – which was more fun for eating, than my bedroom/office.

This made me think about a magazine, which had a story about the Ambassador’s residence in Paris, where I “used to” have a fabulous room overlooking quite an extraordinary garden. This took me to that place where, when watching news or talking head programs, I think, those people “used to” come to my house for dinner. As you can imagine, this was quite depressing, so I decided to change the subject.

The tiny lady was struggling with two large shopping bags, It was quite a sight. She was probably about 86, and had lavender hair. But that is not the total picture. In addition to the hair and shopping bags she was wearing 4 inch red patent leather heels. The wind was blowing. She was having a difficult time balancing because the wind was very strong. She reminded me of an autumn leaf just drifting back and forth across the sidewalk. She was not a street person. The woman was adorable, smart feisty and incredibly stylish. But she was adrift.

"The bus driver let me off here and said I could get a 102 to 63rd Street, but there is no bus stop”. She said it like she knew there must be a bus stop close by, but it was not where the NYC, not so helpful, public servant, said it would be. We were on 59th and 3rd. The bus stop was at 61st and 3rd.

“Let me help you”, I said, thinking that if my mom were struggling it would have been nice for someone to give her a hand.

We fake argued about whether or not she needed assistance, (duh), but by then we were at 61st. “Maybe I should walk you home”, I said, thinking it would have been as easy to walk the two blocks as it would be getting on and off the bus. She said, “no I don't think so, I can hardly stand up the wind.’ So, I put her bags on the bus, we said our goodbyes, and she couldn’t stop thanking me.

" I thank you I said. It’s my mitvah of the day. A mitvah a day keeps the guilt fairy away.” And I was thinking, it’s nice to help someone without expectations of getting something back. Then I thought, (as you may have noticed, I have been doing a great deal of thinking lately), there need to be a lot more mitzvahs… and probably a lot more thinking.

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