While transiting from my place in school to the village in public bus on one hot morning, the bus stopped at a signal to pick passengers. As usual I was sitting by the window seat to get some relieve from the hot weather and looking outside I saw a group of school going kids requesting the driver of the bus to let them in. It was an utter joy to watch them request the driver as they were well equipped with every possible weapon from innocence to flattery. My eyes ceased upon the cutest girl in the group who was trying most actively to persuade the driver in her local dialect. There were two distinct things about her, one was the cute little jumps that she was making and the other she was barefooted, Yes, she wasn’t putting on any slippers or sandals, on a hot day, standing on the concrete road. I was grieved to see that she wasn’t wearing any footwears but still managed to wear such a bright smile. I thought, if I am not able to bear this weather sitting inside the bus, how is she managing it out there. I was angered to help her.
Finally, the driver of the bus gave them permission to enter, They were so happy, fighting amongst themselves, teasing each other but totally respectful towards other passengers and even the driver, Once again like every other sighting of a school going group of chidren, the wish of being a child again and re-living my school days blossomed in my heart. The immovable delusion of mine was hit by the unstopable chariot of reality when one of those kids said, “Uncle, please shift” (asked me to make some space on the seat). Back to reality, it was time to ponder over the self made promise of helping that little girl. Since I was afraid to talk to her in public as I may be looked down as a paedophile, I decided to talk to her once the crowd gets lessen. As the bus approached towards my destination, I went to that girl and pointed towards her feet and asked where are your sandals? The reply from the girl was something that startled me. She pointed towards another girl who was sitting there with misfit sandals and said “since she didn’t have sandals so I gave her mine”.
This was amazing!! A kid who is barely 12 year old, so poor that they can’t afford transportation to school or even a pair of sandals, but these kids knew the true value of sharing and friendship. I went there as a ‘giver’, as someone who was being kind but after this response from her, I felt so small in front of that kid, she was the ultimate example of what this society needs to be. I asked her if it isn’t a problem for her that she isn’t wearing anything? She smiled and said No, not at all. Then I asked, If she wanted a new pair of sandals, she gave a hesitant smile and started looking down. I took out some money from my pocket, extended it to her and asked her to buy a new pair of sandals. She was shocked but politely refused the money with a “No” on her lips and a “yes” in her eyes. I insisted again and she took it. I then asked her to promise me that she would use this money only to buy sandals and if she saves some money then she can spend it on food instead of giving it to her family. She said “Thank you” with a sweet smile and a little hug. She gave me way more than what I gave her.
That honestly made my day.
If the people who are bestowed with luxuries of life have the same kind of attitude towards the underprivileged ones like this girl has for her friend, the world would be a much better place. I wish age doesn’t snatch this grace from her.
“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”
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