The world is a pretty hard place to live in, and while there are plenty of reasons to be cynical and unbelieving – every now and then, comes along a story that rekindles that flame of faith inside of all of us. Such stories of kindness, generosity and just plain humanity – these are what keeps us warm, keeps us believing.

One such story was told by Deelip Menezes. His encounter with an old couple on his bike ride from Narsipatnam to Lambasingi near Visakhapatnam left him in utter awe of the power of giving – and how just about anyone can simply daze you with it.

During the early hours of his ride one morning, he stopped at a hut where an old man stood at a table, making tea. Menezes asked for a cup of tea and something to eat. When the man handed him the tea, and responded in a language Menezes didn’t understand, he simply gestured for food. The vendor understood and exchanged a few words with his wife, which too remained a mystery to the rider.

The woman gestured for Deelip to take a seat as she went into the hut and came back out with a plate of fresh idlis and chutney to go with it. He enjoyed his breakfast and got up to pay. When the man only asked for ₹5, Menezes wondered why he was being charged so little for such a hearty meal.

That is when he realised that the old man ran only a tea stall and thus only charged him for the tea, but because he asked for food, the couple had given him a part of their own breakfast. Which meant that their family would have had less to eat. The realisation struck him like a bolt and he just stood there, stupefied by the generosity of these kind strangers. And all he could do was to offer them more money, which they refused to take until Menezes insisted relentlessly.

What this old couple did is humanity in it’s rarest and purest of forms. Or as Deelip so beautifully puts it: “You haven’t truly given until you have given till it hurts.”

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