Bright things are happening, even in the seeming darkness of winter.
We have experienced some wonderful, uplifting and beautiful acts during the pandemic. It is easy to focus on the hardships that the last year has brought us, but there are such good things that have come this year too! The community support and building each other up has been a true testament to our resilience.
This is not something that we would normally publish on our blog, but then again this has not been a normal time. We wanted to share something uplifting and happy, something that would remind us that kindness exists.
This is a real magical Christmas story that will make you feel good!
Do you remember the fairy tales from Hans Christian Andersen that look like a regular story about ordinary people, but suddenly turn into extraordinary twists and turns, making you believe in magic? This is the type of story that I am going to tell you, dear friends.
When we are at the end of the story, we shall know more than we know now. But for now, let us begin.
Kitoo Dubb – The Strongest Woman with the Kindest Heart
Once upon a time, there was a wicked sprite. Indeed, he was the most mischievous of all sprites, and his name was Corona. His strange and wicked deeds were known in the narrow streets of every small village and every large town. He tortured the entire world for a whole year. Everyone suffered from this wiley and quietly savage beast – the most famous nobility, kings and presidents, and down to the ordinary, hard-working people.
As he continued to take over, with days becoming harsh and frightening, people came out to the streets to teach their kids outside because the beast liked small, closed places the most. But not all of the people had a decent and lighted outside space.
One day, a good fairy appeared in the Sunnyvale Village of Fencing Masters, and kindly offered the people to come to her spacious palace and use it for free. This way, the kids could train in their art and stay safe! She appeared out of nowhere, without pleading or requests. Her free goodwill and love of helping others during these difficult times grew freely from her love of helping others during the most difficult times.
Her name was Kitoo, and she always came to people with her magical smile and asked for nothing in return. No fame, no gold, no repayment of any kind. Her wondrous tone connected with the heartfelt beliefs of everyone who heard her words. She told that people should help each other if they can, without asking something in return, and only this way all people united can win the battle with the beast and set the world free! And her words’ wondrous tone was truly connected with all we believed in during the challenging times! What a great Christmas story.
We don’t have yet the end of this story, but we are positively certain that the end would be something like this: A long time passed, and when the world wound its way back to normal, the people said, “We always believed that kindness and good hearts would save us, and it did!”
From fairy tale to reality
For those who are in our AFM family, you realize that this beautiful story is about our Sunnyvale neighbor Kitoo Dubb. She is the founder and owner of a large Indian food company called X’pressions Inc., which includes multiple subsidiaries such as Haldiram, Amber, Validal Brands United, etc.
California has had a series of lockdown levels during the pandemic, ranging from total closures to social distancing capacity limits, indoor protocols, and even to mandates that sport activities only be held outside. Our students’ safety has always been our first priority, so we were happy to comply with the safety regulations from the county and the state. It is not just about us – this is a time when we must think of the greater good, even when it is difficult.
Going outside was difficult. This mandate coincided with the rainy season here in California, which would necessarily force our outdoor classes to go over Zoom when the drops started to fall. What’s more, we did not have the capacity outside to hold all of our classes in a safe space. Our parking lot at our Sunnyvale location was not large enough to accommodate our fencers while maintaining social distancing.
Kitoo came to us offering us her huge and well-lit parking lot during our classes’ hours, asking absolutely nothing for such a generous provision. All of our epee classes can walk just a few feet from AFM to the front of our building where they train in her parking lot. We are so deeply appreciative of her, as this place is safe with security cameras, bright lights, a large area to allow multiple classes to run all at once, and smooth concrete that is great for training.
I went to her to tell her how much we appreciate this kindness and told her that I wanted to let people know about her generosity. She was surprised by my expression of gratitude and answered that she simply believes that we would do the same for others if the need arose. On that, I agree with her. We always – before, during, and after the pandemic – feel that kindness will save the world.
Though she is not doing this for a reward, we wanted to share this story with you, our readers. It is a testament to what we are together, and hopefully her generosity will give you something to smile about. Here is her website, where you can learn how one woman established her own company back in the 90’s and has grown as a successful businesswoman who brings scores of fresh products to thousands of Indian food stores every day. You’ve probably eaten some of her products, like Haldiram, Amber, Validal, and more. Next time you eat one, you will know the person with a big heart behind this business!
Kitoo, thank you for your help during such difficult times. We do not take it for granted, not for a moment. Not all neighbors would offer such a gesture of support for one another. You are our good fairy during the challenges that we face now! Thank you! We strongly believe that good deeds boomerang back around, and you will get kind acts back in many ways!
If you have stories of generosity and support through the pandemic, we would love to hear them! Our fencing community has been touched by so many wonderful people in the last year, and sharing these real life fairy tales helps us all to stay strong as we look forward.