If everyone did what Sid did

The Hispanic man had just lost his home to a foreclosure. He and his family needed a place to stay. He Sidandgus told the Indian-American motel owner that all he had was 50 bucks. What do you think the motel owner said? (a) "Okay, give me the money. You can stay for one night. One night only!" (b) "Sorry, if you can’t afford my rates, you can’t stay here." (c) "Keep the money. I trust you." (d) "Don’t you have Visa? What about MasterCard?"

If you answered ‘c,’ perhaps you know Siddiqi Hansoti, owner of the El Dorado Motel in Salinas, Calif. As reported on NPR, Hansoti didn’t turn Gus Hernandez away, but made him feel welcome.

"I liked Mr. Hernandez," Hansoti remembers. "I observed his family and [thought he was] a nice man, a soft-speaking guy."

Hernandez didn't want to owe Hansoti money and offered to leave the motel after his family had been there for three weeks. Hansoti said he needed a handyman, and Hernandez could take the job and continue to live in the motel.

Hernandez agreed. He now calls Hansoti both his employer and his friend.

Hernandez says, "When I had money, I had a lot of friends, but when I didn't, Sid was there." [Link]

The El Dorado isn't a classy motel. But its owner is all class.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. This is so sweet.
    Good to see that there is still some kindness going around in this world.

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