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Random Acts of Kindness

On the first day of term, my son returns home minus his (new) school bag.  ‘I am sure I left it in my locker, mum,’ he tells me. But I can guess from the way he averts his eyes that he’s not sure. I sigh knowing I’ll be on the phone to the Transport for London Lost Property Office on the morrow to find out if a school bag was handed in the previous day.

That night, I am getting out of the car, kids and shopping in tow, when I am greeted by the unlikely sight of a huge red bus turning into our narrow residential street.  The driver, a young man sporting a ponytail jumps out, carrying a bag that looks suspiciously familiar. He squints at our door number and lifts a hand to knock, just as I intercept him. ‘Hi,’ he smiles, holding out the bag. ‘Did your son leave something in the bus this afternoon perhaps?’

The driver tells me that he had waited until his last trip of the day when the bus was empty of passengers and instead of hurrying to finish his shift, had taken a little detour to return a school bag a boy left on the bus on the first day of school, having looked up our address in my son’s notebooks.

And yesterday…The day before Christmas Eve. Blustery winds rattling the window panes, rain inciting the trees to rebellion. My children have friends round.  They have just finished lunch when there is a knock on the door. I open it to a tall man with windblown hair and a rain spattered face. A Parcel Force man doing his rounds in the frantic rush up to Christmas. ‘Busy day?’ he asks, noticing the kids. And, ‘How many have you got?’ ‘Six,’ I laugh. ‘Here,’ he says, digging in his pocket and retrieving six packs of Haribos. ‘Merry Christmas.’

In Monsoon Memories, Shirin, a broken wreck of her former self comes to this cold country and is healed by the welcoming warmth of its people.

Isn’t it lovely? Ordinary people going out of their way to do extraordinary things and brighten lives. That is what Christmas is all about. Loving, Giving, Sharing.

Have a good one, you all, and I will be back in the New Year with news of Book 2.



About renitadsilva

Renita D'Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in 'The View from Here', 'Bartleby Snopes', 'this zine', 'Platinum Page', 'Paragraph Planet' among others and have been nominated for the 'Pushcart' prize and the 'Best of the Net' anthology. She is the author of 'Monsoon Memories','The Forgotten Daughter', 'The Stolen Girl', 'A Sister's Promise', 'A Mother's Secret' and 'A Daughter's Courage'.

18 comments on “Random Acts of Kindness

  1. JudithJudith Plante on said:

    Renita, what wonderful stories you tell!! Thank you so much for writing this wonderful book. And thank you Goodreads for choosing me to receive an ARC of Monsoon Memories because out of that, I got you for a friend! May we share many more memories together 🙂

  2. Rama Rangan on said:

    Hi Renita
    It was lovely and heartwarming to read ur account of the kindness in this season of goodwill and cheer. Brought back vivd memories of when we were near neighbours! ryan and Tanya must have grown up too as has Anusha. Those were ever green times!!!

    • renitadsilva on said:

      Ah, thank you, Rama. We all miss you and those lovely get-togethers when the kids were little. Hope you are well and are having a lovely break. Wishing you a fabulous 2014 🙂

  3. HILDA d silva on said:

    Rennu,such nice writing I am nostalgic coz I have experienced the warmth of people in London

  4. Adite Banerjie on said:

    Merry Christmas, Renita. Such heartwarming stories…and written so beautifully! Waiting impatiently to hear all about Book 2! 🙂

  5. Dolphi DSilva on said:

    Excellent writing, Renita. It exudes the feeling of warmth implied in the simple acts of kindness of ordinary folk we meet in our day-to-day life.

  6. Mary Ninan on said:

    Dear Renita
    Your narration is so warm .It is so refreshing to know that there are a few good people in this world who go out of their way to help.’The driver of the Red Bus’ .I must mention your Mum’s acts of kindness and love.She is a person who will always lend a helping hand to the old,weak and underprivileged .
    God bless you .

    • renitadsilva on said:

      Thanks so much Aunty for your lovely words. Yes, my mother is the warmest, most generous and selfless person I know- I am so privileged that she is my mum. I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and have a wonderful 2014.

  7. Heather Walker on said:

    It restores your faith in people does that. Lovely to hear and thanks for sharing.
    Hope you had a great Christmas. Happy New Year.

  8. Alisan Andrews on said:

    Renita, I had to find out how Reena would come to “understand” what had happened! I stayed in bed this morning to finish the book as I had to find out how you were going to unfold this fascinating story. I can relate to the story in so many ways, knowing the truth, but do not know the why’s, the who’s or have anyone left to ask; just accept and go one with my life and live it the best I know how and give my children all the love and truths I know. I like the foods blended into the story, “food is family” and it grounds the story in those basics of every day life. Also gives us non-Indian people a fascinating taste of India.

    Thank you for writing this book and ‘The Forgotten Daughter’, which I have also read! Can’t wait for your next book!

    Best regards,


    • renitadsilva on said:

      Dear Alisan, Thank you so very much for this warm and heartfelt message, for taking the time to write and let me know how you felt and what you thought about my books. I am so glad that Reena’s tale touched you. Thank you. This has brightened my day and week. xxx

  9. julie calder on said:

    I loved both of your books – I have just finished ‘Monsoon memories’. Like others have said, the influence of food on family life is very heart-warming ….Indian or otherwise! Thank you for writing such wonderful stories!

    • renitadsilva on said:

      Dear Julie, Thank you for taking the time to write me this wonderful message. I am so glad you enjoyed my books and that the stories resonated with you. Thank you.

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