Parsley and Thyme

Fresh Pearls

with 2 comments

Ours is an apartment block nestled in the midst of upcoming apartment blocks, in a very well known part of North-Western Bangalore. Inspite of being situated right off one of the most busiest roads of Bangalore, one could label our neighbourhood as an almost “private” enclave, completely insulated from the infamous vehicle pollution that is rapidly stripping away the city’s “Garden City” title. Nevertheless, what I wanted to write about today is something I got to witness because of the aforementioned construction activity – an incident that allowed me to witness the pristine beauty and innocence every child is gifted with.

During my daily evening “walk” with Chikoo, I have to pass by a mushroom of shacks – temporary houses of construction workers – before we hit the main road from the apartment. Now forgive the usage of the word “walk” in my previous statement because in reality Chikoo cannot walk as yet and has to be ferried around on a slow carriage called “mother”.

Anyways, on one such evening, my eyes fell upon a little girl who was playing outside a particular shack. She looked just over a year old, with shaggy hair that loooked totally uncared for and clothes that could be best described as ragged finery helping her blend into an equally dusty background. She was sitting on the muddy ground in front of the shack and was so completely engrossed in entertaining herself that I couldn’t help but observe her brazenly.

The object of her unadulterated affection ? A superlatively ragged doll, which perhaps had been in great shape while it still held some interest for the original owner. As I was painfully reminded of the many wonderful toys that Chikoo himself has at his disposition (and incidentally – is totally disinterested in everyone of them), I suddenly realized that the girl was looking back at me intently. And as she looked up, I saw that there was anything but dissatisfaction on her face – she seemed to radiate bliss inspite of the abject poverty surrounding her. She smiled at me shyly for a moment as our eyes met, and the next moment continued with her game as if I had melted into the dusty neighborhood. For the next half an hour that I was there with Chikoo, the girl brought out all her other toys and was totally immersed in her beautiful play world. Her companions were a rusted tin can, an used paper plate and cup, the ragged doll and a couple of smaller “playthings” that I could not really distinguish because of our distance. From time to time she would repeat the earlier exercise of looking up at me, smiling and getting back to her recreation. When she completed her play, she got up, did a lovely jig, and ran back to join her bother and sister who were themselves running around the piles of concrete lying nearby.

And I stopped pitying her “condition”. Because it occurred to me that children don’t really value things in the same superficial way that we “adults” do. Their happiness is not based on “things” outside of themselves. Hence it really didn’t matter to this young lady that her toy was in reality, a non-functioning discard from a rich neighbour, or, that her parents could barely afford to have two fine meals a day.

Children are like fresh pearls – dazzling with beauty and innocence irrespective of the “circumstances” they are in. Laughing without a reason, dancing without inhibition, participating in life completely and having a blast all the way.

They make you realize that life is really, unconditionally beautiful when you don’t have any expectations from it.

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Written by Kanchana

March 8, 2008 at 1:52 am

Posted in Chikoo, Life in General

2 Responses

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  1. Welcome back to the written world Kanchana! Lovely post on the innocence of childhood.

    Siddhartha

    March 11, 2008 at 7:16 pm

  2. Thanks Sidd! I am honored that a literary giant such as yourself thinks that this post was good 🙂

    Kanchana

    March 13, 2008 at 11:34 am


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