I love December.
The blissful joy of being wrapped in winter’s arms with the cold chill to romance, and a cup of coffee to snuggle with – inexplicable.
Now this cup of coffee happened to be very near my place of work, and just as the sky was metamorphosing into a darker hue, with me sipping my coffee, a young boy , with a backpack walked up and mumbled some-nothings to himself but the two nice people I was with, did lend him an ear.
All my life, a by product of being in delhi has meant that I’ve been taught to be wary of strangers – but this kid walked up, with overwhelming hunger in his eyes that pricked so many daggers at your conscience, we couldn’t tear ourselves from him.
Voices laced with skepticism, we asked him what he wished for, and he told us the usual – food. The usual stories about children being harassed for money were ringing in our minds, and we were stuck in a quagmire – when one of us decided to walk with him and buy him some food.
Everything is walking the usual course till now ( literally as well 😉 ) – but the kid had his heart set on ‘roti’ (a type of Indian bread) and some curry, which , as luck would have it , was not available nearby. So we handed over a hundred to him – with promises that he would buy the food from wherever he wished, come back to our table and sit with us.
By now, it was almost dark, and the cynic , especially in me, was gnawing it’s way out – he has run away with the hundred. Can you imagine how I would’ve felt when I saw him, walking towards us, with a sweet happiness across his face – I wanted to leap up and hug him, and at the same time, jump into a well and never emerge – adulthood had transformed me into a non believer but this little child, had once again re-enforced that innocence wins over all perils.
Merrily, he set his food down, and close inspection told us that it would’ve cost him around eighty of the hundred we gave him, and started eating away. We three, also content now, resumed our conversation about the worldly nothings.
It was pitch dark now, when the kid wanted water. He got up to get some, to quench his thirst-
And we waited.
His food went cold.