January 28, 2008

life in general: 3 little girls & the fruit tree!

Yesterday, Sunday the 27th January of 2008, I had what I would count as among my most happy moments in this lifetime.

It was afternoon time -- around 4 pm. I had just left my Dad's home at Shastri Nagar, Andheri West (i go visit my dad at least once a week, and stay overnight; this time, i had stayed the saturday night and on sunday afternoon left to head to my home in kandivli that is 13 kms away from my dad's home).

I walked to the main road outside of Shastri Nagar complex to catch a public bus or an autorickshaw. I noticed there was a key maker on the roadside (a key maker is a guy who has a small box with different sizes of un-cut keys from which he can cut new keys as per your requirements). I wanted to make two duplicates of my home key. I gave it to him. He told me it will take 10-15 minutes.

Now, marked the beginning of those happiest moments. I saw three little girls, aged 8-11 years. This roadside had a few trees. Right where I was waiting was a tree and this tree had small light green-coloured fruits (it was not amla/gooseberry) and some of them had fallen down.

These girls, who came from families of pavement dwellers staying a km down the road, were picking those very few fruit droppings. One of them decided to throw stones up at the tree branches to make fruits fall. Since she was small her throws were very weak and did not even reach the higher tree branches.

I was watching all this unfold in front of me and I decided to step in. I spoke with the girls and told them that I will help them in throwing the stones and hoping for fruits to fall. They collected some small stones (there is no dearth of pebbles and stones on the roadsides here) and one by one were giving it to me. I threw a stone up at the tree branches, threw another, and lo and
behold! About 5-6 fruits in The fruits started tumbling down with every second throw of mine! The girls were delighted and collected the fallen fruits. I tell you, my friends, watching their delighted faces was what made those moments among the most happy in my life!

As this tree was on the roadside, some of the many fruits falling down were spilling on to the road where traffic was passing by. The girls, without taking care, would dart after every falling fruit. I had to be firm with them to not rush to the road. I collected a few fruits that used to go on to the middle of the road, so that they wouldn't try to do it themselves and endanger themselves. I threw and threw stones and the girls collected around 50 small fruits. They were chatting with me all the time this was going on "Uncle this!" or "Uncle that!".

This fruit felling activity went on for 10-15 minutes. By then, the key maker had readied my duplicate keys. I paid him, but continued helping the girls for another 3-4 minutes. With a heavy heart I stopped afterwards. I told them I had to go. I felt sad I had to leave them and the fun were were having together.

The three girls, despite the tough conditions they were coming from, had a cheerful persona and that was inspirational. I did not help them as much as they did in making me see yet again the delightful nature of such children.

May our universe shower these little girls with the brightest blessings!

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