What will you do when you see someone in need, but also have an appointment to keep?

For Mr Iswardy Ishkandar Shah and his family, the answer is simple: stop and help.

Last Friday evening (June 22), Mr Iswardy was on the way to catch a movie with his wife and family at Seletar Mall when an elderly Malay lady approached them to ask for directions to Sengkang Secondary School.

Despite being told that the school was just a three-minute walk away from where they were, the elderly lady repeatedly insisted that she had to take a bus to Punggol to get there.

Suspecting that something was off, Mr Iswardy probed further. He eventually found out that the lady was suffering from dementia, had not eaten in the last two days, and was unable to find her way back home.

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Mr Iswardy called the police to assist her, and, at the risk of being late for his movie, decided to wait with her to ensure that she would not come to further harm. With no halal food nearby, he also bought her a drink to help ease her hunger.

The police arrived about 20 minutes later, leaving just five minutes for Mr Iswardy and his family to rush to the cinema for their movie.

As fate would have it, they hopped onto a ComfortDelGro taxi driven by Mr Hardeep Singh, who asked them why they were in such a fluster.

When he learnt that Mr Iswardy and his family was late for a movie because they had helped the elderly lady, Mr Singh – who himself has a mother with dementia – decided to reward their kindness with kindness by declining to accept their payment for the ride.

This act of kindness prompted Mr Iswardy to post on Facebook about his experience that night. He wrote: “We were so touched by the gesture and my hope for humanity is restored…we showed our son the values of being nice to people and without expecting anything in return even if it means losing things we want while doing so.”

The post has since been shared more than 500 times, with commenters praising both Mr Iswardy and Mr Hardeep for their acts of kindness.

A Facebook user by the name of Jamie Mil Dannish wrote: “Kindness begets kindness. Do good (and) good comes back to you. Well done, both of you.”

Another Facebook commenter, Dominic Pereira, said: “Kindness will always come back”, while someone called Alan Swee wrote: “Thank you both for helping another person in need. Thank you and Mr Hardeep for showing us what it is to be a true human being!”

ComfortDelGro Taxi also shared the story on their Facebook page and praised Mr Hardeep for his kind deed.
“Kindness begets kindness. In this case, a family’s kind deed got them a ComfortDelGro taxi ride – for free,” they wrote.

“Cabby Hardeep Singh was so touched by what his passengers – Mr Iswardy Ishkandar Shah and his family – did to help an elderly lady suffering from dementia that he not only rushed them to Seletar Mall with just 5 minutes to spare before the movie starts, but also refused to accept any fare.

“Cabby Hardeep Singh, your unexpected act has restored Mr Shah’s ‘hope in humanity’.”

With these simple yet thoughtful gestures, both Mr Iswardy and Mr Hardeep have shown us what true kindness is all about, serving as an inspiration to others.

The Pride has reached out to Mr Iswardy for his comments. We will update the story once he has responded.