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Kindness One: In India, an experience that surpasses the Taj Mahal

November 06, 2013|By Leon Logothetis
  • Leon Logothetis, driving his 1978 Chang Jiang motorcycle, made a friend in the city of Lucknow, India, who took him to his village about 45 minutes away. The whole village turned out to see him.
Leon Logothetis, driving his 1978 Chang Jiang motorcycle, made a friend… (Greg Pappas )

My travels across the globe relying on the kindness of strangers with my trusted motorcycle, Kindness One, continue to amaze me. I traveled from Delhi to Agra in India and visited the Taj Mahal. This was a highlight of the trip, to be sure, but to my amazement, better things were just around the corner.

The city of Lucknow, which has about 3 million people, is  a few hours’ ride from the Taj Mahal. In Lucknow, I bumped into a man on his way to a village. I didn’t have anywhere to stay and he offered me free gas when I got to his village 45 minutes away.

When you are relying on the kindness of strangers for gasoline, food and shelter, this comes in handy.

I didn’t know it, but he had called his family. When we arrived in my  motorcycle, the whole village came out to celebrate. Hundreds of people were singing and dancing as I drove up through the dirt tracks.  I was overwhelmed.

Some of these people had never seen a foreigner before and I am pretty certain they had never seen a yellow bike with a side car.

As the dancing and singing died down, I was taken on a tour of the village; hundreds of people followed my every move. I met the cows, the holy men and the farmers. The experience at the village was moving, fueled by kindness borne of love from those villagers.

I ended up staying the night in the elder’s house and in the morning my new friend was true to his word and filled up Kindness One. And I was off on another adventure.

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