Monday, 28 July 2008

Flowers at the Red Light

Last and breezy... driving back from the Old Delhi railway station with the windows of my Grand old M800 rolled down, I had to stop at the ITO red light ... lost in thought and reflecting on my life, the bomb blasts et all ... life can sometimes seem so bleak! My friend sitting beside me was anxious about me having to drive all the way to Gurgaon- alone at "late" in the night and I was truthfully numb to his concerns, almost completely lost in my thoughts when I was snapped back to reality by a small voice: "Didi phool le lo na". Looking out, I saw a small girl of about 8 looking at me, a glimmer of hope in her eyes. Holding up 3 bracelet sized chains of bela or jasmine flowers ... she looked again "Didi le lo naa" - more emphasis more hope. I looked at the little face again, something had me transfixed- here was this kid doing her best to assist her family and doing it sincerely- 11:00pm and she was still at the streets selling little chains of flowers to earn money - no thought to education; no high aspirations; no real comfort; no real sense of security; faced with the harsh conditions of life and yet the innocence was not lost. I asked her how much - "Dus rupiye ke teen came the reply" ... I looked at her again and rummaged around for my wallet. The light turned green; those behind me grew restless by the second and horns started blaring ... I could see a hint of apprehension in the girls eye and could not bear the thought of disappointing her. Quickly took out a Rs 10 note from the glove compartment and took the flowers from her. A fleeting look at the little one and I could see the glow of joy on her face - and in her smile and eyes - it was as if she had just found a pot of gold!

Moving before those behind me decided to come out of their vehicles to clobber me, I drove on. Somehow my line of thought had changed - Life isn't bleak. There will be numerous reasons to loathe things around you but one genuine smile and warmth in the heart can work miracles!

And, oh yes! those flowers definitely smelt sweeter than usual.


THE HUB said...

nice one dodo.
nicely written

Ansh said...


I'll never forget that glow of happiness!

sunny said...

btw what were doing driving so late at night..maruti 800 ka kuch pata nahi..what if stopped :P:P
anyways i don think helping kids like this actually helps them..its a temporary solution and done more to help make ourselves more happy..sorry on these issues i am a bit harsh..anyways the passage was a see saw..liked it.. :)

Uri said...

That was nicely written, a learning to take from this is that the girl at the red light was perhaps happier then we are as she does not have to think about her job security or her job profile, her career growth or her future. She makes her living by the day and has been taught to earn a meal this way only. think of the day it is raining heavily and she is not able to go out, how will she get her daily living? Does she feel insecure, no she can't think to this extent so why are we all always worried, so enjoy every moment of life as it brings something new for all of us.

Kavit said...

Ok good one, well written to start with. They say in Israel no matter how mnay bomb blast occurs in a day the first page of the newspapers next day are full of hope, achievements and positivity. I think this would fall in similar category. I really dont care about the amount of money you gave to the child, there was a clear trade you got the flowers and she had the price for them. Although , I think the girl under priced it ;-)


Ansh said...

thanks kavit! same feelings there ... never gonna 4get that glow :)