It had been ten hours since I had my dinner. These morning tuitions, they never fail to give me hunger pangs!
I took out my purse, and checked. Satisfied that it had enough to provide me a decent breakfast, I rushed towards the nearest cafeteria. I was about to push open the door, when SHE stopped me.
A little girl, who barely reached my waist, was protectively guarding the front door of the cafeteria, refusing to let me have my breakfast unless I gave her money for hers. Her innocence made me laugh, yet I couldn’t push aside those dirty hands and walk in. Had it been any other day, I would have handed her another five rupee coin, and she would have walked happily.
But something urged me to behave otherwise.
I bent down a little and quietly told her, “I won’t give you any money. But if you wish to have your breakfast with me, you’re most welcome.”
She was taken aback by the proposal. But I could see her doe-shaped eyes little up with delight, though apprehension held her back.
I held her hand and took her in. She looked around with awe, with a myriad of emotions flowing thorough her veins, as if the fairy queen had just transformed her into Cinderella and there she was, in her dreamland.
LO AND BEHOLD, in reality too the dream gets shattered as the clock chimes twelve.
No sooner had we approached the counter than the counterboy politely requested me to keep ‘that girl’ out.
I had been so infatuated by my companion’s happiness that I had completely overruled the consequences such a situation. Yet, knowledge of human nature told me that for them, the girl’s magical world ended at the staircase.
Without bothering to comment further, I asked my little friend to choose what she would like to have. After much hesitation and indecisions, she finally settled on a brownie. I ordered a sandwich for myself and took out my wallet to pay for the orders.
“Pack the food please.”, I reverted back.
My reply seemed to comfort him and he handed over the packet to us. I pushed open the door, walked a few steps, and sat down right on the same staircase where the girl had been standing a couple of minutes back. I did not feel the necessity to justify my actions to the stunned bunch of people behind me, as I took out my bottle to wash her hands.
The sight of a five-year-old child biting away at her brownie kept me enthralled. She licked her fingers and lips, savouring the taste of rich dark chocolate, trying not to waste even a bit. I quietly pushed the sandwich on her lap, only to be rewarded with a beautiful convincing smile.
As I sat watching her, I noticed a Coca-Cola can rolling on the footpath. It reminded me of Bollywood’s most famous tagline- “Bewaja Khushian Lutao”.
Perhaps the world has literally become a better place to live in. 🙂