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Don't judge people by their appearance

Good-looking people are not necessarily good human beings. Looks don't make one a real hero.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 14:46 IST

At 9.30 pm my dog Casper wanted a walk and reluctantly I took him out. In the dimly-lit streets, I saw a smart young man parking his car and feeding six to seven stray dogs. The quiet of the night was disrupted when the stray dogs began barking ferociously and rushed at us, leaving their food.

Grabbing a trembling Casper in my arms I screamed, but the man feeding them stood indifferently. Their barking and my screaming became chaotic but not a soul came to help. I had two choices: run away fast or throw Casper at them and escape.

I prayed to God to let me run fast and let the dogs bite my back but not my face. I’m told it’s better to stay still but I couldn’t help myself right then, I was so frightened. Suddenly a scooter appeared between my attackers and me, seeing which they ran away.

The dog-feeder then warned me in impeccable English that night walks were dangerous and went away. I found his attitude very condescending and ungentlemanly. A shopkeeper nearby told me how this young man fed the dogs each night. Together as a pack, the dogs became more ferocious and attacked passersby. Recently, they had mauled a young child.

The police were called but the young man had argued haughtily that he was doing charity. Charity is our spiritual and religious duty, but surely we should see its consequences?

Next morning, I went looking for my saviour, whose face I had seen but dimly. All I knew was that he was a local shopkeeper. I spotted the same scooter and standing beside it, a shabby man. He recognised and greeted me shyly.

Squirming, listening to my words of praise and thanks, he revealed his identity: Razaak — a fruit-seller. No longer do I judge people by their outward appearance. Good-looking people are not necessarily good human beings. They pay attention to their physique, food, slang and looks, but forget that these do not make them a real hero.

First Published: Feb 06, 2006 14:46 IST