I was called to college on a Saturday for some extra work today. I didn’t really mind much, but I was tired from a trip yesterday and was grumbling to myself about having to be up and about today when I noticed two small girls in school uniforms.
You could easily tell that they were sisters by the way one of them was holding the other, littler one’s hand and leading her towards the escalator leading to the metro station. Both were wearing school uniforms that looked like it had seen better days. I got on behind them and the older girl turned and smiled at me. I smiled back.
Now, one major thing you will notice if you ever come to Mumbai is that, everyone is in a hurry to catch the next metro or train or bus. There was a man who had gotten on the escalator behind us and began walking up. He asked the girls to let him through and the older girl moved to the side.
But when this man, who was old but not terribly so, climbed to the top, I noticed the older girl’s expression was one of shock. The old man wasn’t wearing any shoes.
If you live in Mumbai, this doesn’t necessarily mean he has no money to buy shoes. It could simply mean the strap of his chappals came off, or that he has a mannat (in order to have a wish fulfilled you give up the comfort of walking with shoes for a certain period of time), but the girl was probably too young to have thought of that.
Catching her looking at me, I couldn’t help but steal a look at her feet. Her school shoes had huge holes in them where her toes peeked out.
Here was a girl who was so sad on seeing another person in a worse situation than what she was probably in. This poor girl, who had to go to school without a school bus that most enjoy and was called every weekend as well, not complaining about anything.
Suitably chastisised about having been called on a Saturday, I shot the girl a smile and helped her and her sister board the metro. Their smiles made my day today. I was reminded of Kimberly’s Earth Angels and I believe I met one today.
I’m not going to moan and groan but simply and happily going to do the work that I was called to do. Thank You Earth Angel 🙂