It’s Sunday morning. Can’t say ‘a lazy one’ because I have my guitar classes on this day and I don’t mind the 2 hour long drive as those 40 minutes bring eternal peace to my mind and soul. On my way to the music school there’s a traffic signal from where I take a right turn. Why did I mention this signal? Reason number one- Every Sunday I am stuck in traffic light invariably. Reason number two- I see little kids in shabby clothes selling fresh roses and bouquets there. I see these kids begging people to buy their flowers, I see them being shouted at, I see them being shooed away like stray animals on road, I see them squabbling with their parents and siblings, I see them washing their faces with water in the peak of summer and getting slapped on that face that had just felt the balmy effect of cold water due to shortage of cold drinking water.
Amidst the hurricane of events I come in contact with these children and we connect. All we offer each other is the curve that straightens all crumpled matters… a smile. It’s quite strange that they came only once to me with a red rose that I bought instantly. Today also we smiled at each other. The little girl was knocking at the window panes and pleading each driver to buy her flowers. I had the urge to take her picture. The only reason was her contented smile. She was shy. Her mother said to her, “Go, get your picture clicked”. With wavering steps she advanced towards me. Suddenly, an 8 year old boy popped out of the blue right in front of my open window, hugged the girl and said, “Ma’am, take my picture with my sister.” I can’t explain in sheer words how I felt but I was in tears. I took their pictures, bought the pink flowers, bid them goodbye and started my car’s engine. I could see them waving at me till they could see me and vice versa.
I wept as I drove. They literally have nothing to look forward to. No food, no shelter, no clothes, no relations, no support, no help… they have nothing. And yet, they can afford to smile and even giggle and laugh. Why can’t we? We, the elite class, the educated lot, the so-called carriers of our culture and tradition, are the worst lot. We have everything. Then why do we find it so hard to draw that winning curve on our faces. We show off branded items that adorn our body. Why can’t we wear a smile that costs nothing?
I believe that the costliest brand in this mundane life is the ‘smile’. It’s beyond the reach of the selfish, the egoistic, the arrogant, in short, the hollow lot. It’s accessible to the simpletons who love from heart, who can see beauty in the littlest of things, who help without any ulterior motif, who are contented with what they have and to those who value relations.