To do that ... I happen to write!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Vietnam Diaries #10: Pass it forward

We crossed a rickety old wooden bridge that shook with every motobike, to leave the city of Ben Tre behind and wander off in a land criss-crossed by countless numbers of small rivulets branching off the Mekong river. My host took us to a trail which branched off from the stone path through a short muddy track... and we were at a home of a stranger: not just to me, but also to my host!

It hardly felt like he was a stranger; a war veteran (from the south Viet side!): he has a huge collection of antiques. Before going to his house I was wondering how interesting can that be! Well, it was interesting but that's wasn't all. We had coconut and fresh fruits from his farm, fed the fish, rowed his boat, tried climbing coconut trees (to utter failure), saw the wedding video of his son, saw pictures of his 4 generations; and wait: divided up work to cook food in his home. Plucking yellow chilly from its plant, chopping it to pieces and then casually rubbing my fingers on my face was the highlight of this cooking session! Nothing would help subside the extreme burning sensation for next 2 hours!

I ate one of the best meals of my life; washed the dishes and then slumped into one of the dozens of hamlock spread all across his house!

The experience is incomplete without a mention of how cheerful that stranger was! Laughing and cracking jokes by the minute. His personality put us at east within first few minutes of meeting him, and infused an extra sense of joy in everything...

When taking a leave, I asked my host: "how do I pay him back!". 
She said, "Pay it forward"...


  1. We find it a little tough to imbibe this nice concept, right?

    'Pay it forward' is exactly what I was taught by my insti seniors. The lesson was repeated whenever I insisted on paying my share for a meal or some event tickets etc. 'When with a junior in a similar situation, ensure that you pay for both of you.'