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Writer, Father. Entrepreneur. Bum. Atheist. Recluse. Garhwali. Foodie. Downloader. Drifter. In no particular order.

10.1.05

adam's family

It's a beautiful day. Extraordinarily sunny. I feel a buoyant elation as I drive homewards. For no apparent reason besides my impending fatherhood at the back of my mind. Even desperate honking by fellow drivers fails to pester me. Listening to 3rd Eye Blind and humming to myself at a red light, I feel aptly narcoleptic in my semi-charmed kind of life. She comes up to my car, this 8 year old street urchin. Avoiding direct eye contact, she abruptly starts cleaning the car. On any other day, I would have felt uneasy, irritated even, by the obligation to pay her. But not today. Today I feel generous. Playfully I point at the dirty glasses. She is not poster pretty, this girl. But then she is a child, and children don't have to be pretty to please our eyes. Sensing my approval, she takes out an extra rag and starts wiping the window glasses with renewed fervour. Having wiped all the windows, she now stands expectantly, wearing a practised emotion honed to induce pity. I give her a 5 rupee coin. Seemingly, it is more than what she had expected. For one fleeting instant, her mask peels off. She beams at me, not like a street kid, but like a happy child. For one tiny instant, we are not playing roles, me the reluctant donor, she the helpless beggar. For one miniscule moment, we are merely two humans. Wearing this half-a-smile, she sprints across the street even as the red light turns to green. I couldn't help smiling back. And an unusual revelation strikes me in this moment of unthinking lucidity. We are the human race, one huge sentient organism. And these are our children. Who is going to look after them, if not us?