Small Acts Of Care Fuelled by Love

BritishAirways #fuelledbylove


Pull of gravity

Cannot be seen, yet it is felt

In the form of Gravitational Waves

Ripples flow through the fabric of space

In a way alike, good vibes link hearts,

Build ties in the strangest ways

A heart-warming smile,

A gentle touch,

An act of care,

A warm


Break barriers, rise above frontiers, form deep




When you are travelling alone outside your home country, especially for the first time, things sometimes appear very daunting, in such times even the smallest acts of kindness from people, can be very comforting and put you at ease.

When I saw this video by British Airways, which is supposed to be inspired by a true story, I was moved by this heart-warming tale of a UK based cabin crew member, who while travelling to India for the first time for the first time forms a connect with an elderly India traveller, and subsequently visits her in India.



The video reminds me of an incident that I am about to share with you.

The year was 2007, I was then working with an IT Company. My job required me to travel frequently to overseas client locations. Invariably, I would travel alone, while my family stayed back in Mumbai.

This time I was to be deployed in London for a project with BBC for three months. The BBC Head office, now located in Oxford Circus in central London was at White City in west London in those days.

To say that I was excited to be at the iconic building that had served as the BBC hub since its opening in 1960, would be an understatement. On the first day I reached a little early. Our client relationship manager introduced me to Stuart Sutton, who was overseeing the project.

The project kicked off smoothly. In the course of time, I started bonding well with a lady known as Philippa. During our lunch time conversations, I found out that Philippa was an Indophile. Her great grandfather had lived in Kolkata. Though she had been to India only once, her knowledge of Indian culture, cuisine, religions, and history baffled me. Soon we formed a friendship based on mutual respect and on our common interest for cultural aspects. She would often ask me about my family, and how my folks at home were managing in my absence.

Time flew by. My work was over, and it was time for me to head back home to Mumbai.

On my last day I planned to leave a little early as I had to do some shopping and pack my stuff to catch the morning flight next day. Completing all the exit formalities, I thanked Stuart for all his help and went about saying goodbye to the client team. Philippa wasn’t there at her seat. I waited for her as I couldn’t have left without meeting her.

As I sat waiting, a little fidgety for getting delayed, Philippa appeared with a big box of doughnuts, a nice card with red poppy field (poppy signifies remembrance) and a jar of mustard paste. 

This is for you,‘ she said with a warm smile.

Mustard! I asked as I wondered why would anybody give mustard as a farewell gift. Sensing my surprise, she told me that she had noticed my liberal use of mustard sauce on the sandwiches and she knew that mustard paste was commonly used in preparation of Bengali food dishes. So she had gone out to buy a jar of English mustard paste for me to try out at home.

This small gesture of hers was touching and made me feel so special.

Small acts of compassion and a genuine attempt to understand people and their culture goes a long way in forging strong bonds.

British Airways


I end this post quoting Maya Angelou

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’



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  • author's avatar

    By: Somali K Chakrabarti

    Hi there ! I am a management and leadership coach and a ‘çlinical blogger’. Well, that’s what my family & friends call me now ! Here, I tell stories of different brands, how people relate to the brands and the values, beliefs and emotions that they associate with the brands. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

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About the author

Somali K Chakrabarti

Hi there ! I am a management and leadership coach and a 'çlinical blogger'. Well, that's what my family & friends call me now ! Here, I tell stories of different brands, how people relate to the brands and the values, beliefs and emotions that they associate with the brands. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

Readers Comments (31)

  1. pranab chakraborti February 28, 2016 @ 9:33 am

    Very touching story. Be thankful for all the persons you have met in life.

  2. The quote of Maya Angleou is immortal. Hearty thanks for sharing your heart-warming experience. We should show the same kind of gesture to foreign guests visiting our country with a great expectation and hope.


  3. This was such a lovely share of your experience in the UK Somali, and I loved the story, and the video share I had not seen before.. Love and well wishes from the UK for a beautiful week 🙂 Hugs Sue

  4. Hi Somali,

    Beautiful thoughts! Profound poetry and a rare experience! Thank you for sharing such a heart touching story and a wonderful video. There is no doubt that good vibes can be felt effortlessly as they touch our heart and form lasting relationships. Such experiences become eternal memories besides telling us how a warm gesture can reveal the goodness around the world.
    Loved reading it. 🙂

  5. The movie clip on BA was truly moving and so is the small act of genuine warmth and bonhomie from Philippa ..we carry these in our hearts as treasures of friendship, don’t we?

  6. So is this a new blog Somali?

    • This is not exactly new Sunita. Started it in last april with the intention of porting scribble ad scrawl on to self hosted blog, but then decided to retain Scribble and Scrawl as it is as I didn’t want to lose out on the convenience of use of, and thought of letting this blog remain as one focused on brands.

  7. A wonderful experience worth sharing, Somali… 🙂 We meet some persons in life who leave such lingering effects on us through their small, heartfelt gestures… 🙂 Loved the poem, too…nicely done… 🙂

  8. Somali, as you know I normally stay away from commenting on sponsored posts (not sure this one is) but this time I just want to say that I loved your thought of connecting gravitational waves to love and Maya Angelou’s quote:)

    • Thank you Lata. Yes I know you refrain from commenting on sponsored posts and this one is. I wrote this as I believe in this theme, could relate with it and have several good memories of my stay in UK on different occasions. 🙂

  9. What a wonderful story coupled with a great poem to begin with. I loved the video 🙂 totally shows how love knows no barriers of language, caste and nationality!

  10. bhudeb chakrabarti February 29, 2016 @ 6:16 am

    A lovely poem and a heart warming tale of an unforgettable experience. I quote the lines of a poem by Rabindranath Tagore from ‘Gitanjali’ below:
    “Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not. Thou has given me seats in homes not my own. Thou hast brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger.”

  11. Very rarely do we come across such individuals with whom a deep personal connection seems almost pre-ordained. And such people truly need to be held very close to the heart!

    For instance, I’m a BIG introvert and really take time opening up to people. However, at the Indiblogger event where we met, you were the only person I could connect to at a personal level. I know, I have bad interpersonal skills and need to improve, especially in a field like blogging, where networking is sort of the lifeline!

    So yes, thanks for everything Somali! 🙂

  12. Somali this is indeed a very touching post and profoundly loaded with your own lovely experience. I can relate every bit of your experience when I travel abroad and look for that familiar face and the voice of comfort and ultimately that gesture and care that makes huge difference to us. There are enough good people and they are there to extend their warmth and make us feel homely, it is only we need to be genuine and honest in our help and support.

    Your experience with Philippa not an isolated incident, you must have met many more Philippa but it so important to remember how to reciprocate such gesture, giving you the Mustard as farewell gift is so heart warming…

    Coming to the British Air-hostess and especially his gesture to an old lady makes it more evocative and perhaps that is what is taught in houses and the respect and regard we have for the tourist are truly beautiful but few stray incidents here and there comes to limelight and distorts the image and impression.

    Thanks so much Somali for sharing your own personal story. Indeed it is proud moment for anyone to be there in the BBC hub and I can see the joy that you would have experienced in being there. Yes, these small gestures and acts of compassion can break the barriers and make a massive difference in the way we live and engage with the world around us.
    Have a lovely weekend.

    • Thank you Nihar. Yes you are right. it is not a one off incident.

      I made many lovely friends on my trips and you can make out a genuine gesture. These are the small things that we retain with us for long.

      Have a nice weekend..

  13. I loved your lines Somali and so agree with that quote, it is our what we feel or rather how the other person makes us feel that remains with us forever. London will always be special for me cos it was my home for many years, so thoroughly enjoyed reading the story too 🙂

  14. This is so touching. How beautifully portrayed. Our country has many drawbacks and has a long way to go to become a rich nation. But we are definitely rich at heart. I have travelled the entire south east Asia now and what I realise is that Indians respect people more and there is so much love and affection amongst us. We treat strangers like one of us.


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