Ten Minutes at Ten PM

Mar 7, 2005

"Let's do something outrageously kind. Right now. And let's do it without money," I randomly yelled as five of us were walking down a busy Ahmedabad street at 10PM.

Within minutes, we notice a crew of women and men, in their 50s, sweeping the streets. Oh yeah, baby. Anjalee, Guri, Mark and I approach them spontaneously: "Can we give you a ten minute break?" Despite the initial what-in-the-world response, we snagged the brooms and started sweeping!

After a few quick lessons, we were in full effect.

Such a simple act, it was radical. Soon enough, a crowd of more than 50 folks circled us. Rickshaw drivers stopped with confused looks, late night college students crowded around with curiousity, families stopped by on their scooters with congratulatory remarks, nearby slum dwellers looked on with a half smile, and one onlooker even started to sweep with us!

Jayeshbhai took the sweepers to a nearby stall and treated all of them to a "lime soda". They do this everyday till 4AM, but today, they got a ten minute break from unexpected friends.

Ten minutes at 10 PM. Smiles all around.

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"Service doesn't start when you have something to give; it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."

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