Floored

A tribute to the little girl

What was supposed to be my my homecoming day, I boarded a bus from Howrah station. When the bus reached Khidirpur, a little girl entered through the door. She was singing a song(I don’t remember which one now) that was lyrically impaired and she had her left palm stretched out in front of commuters. I felt a bubble of laughter in pit of my stomach as she covered up her lack of lyrical information with sing-song babble.

 The money that is collected by these children are usually snatched away by the elder ones that watch over them. The result is either they remain hungry or are drawn towards the addictives that they can easily buy for less than ₹10.

That girl had a beautiful smile- the toothy full-blown smile. She had a dark face accompanied by an array of unkempt sholuder-length hair that was a mixture of various shades of brown with cute little dark eyes. 

I definitely couldn’t give her any money for that would have little to no use to her. So I gently tapped on her head to gain her attention and gave her a packet of biscuits. She then rewarded me with her smile, that floored me. She was genuinely happy and damn I could see that in her smile and eyes. 

After she was done asking for anything from other passengers , I called her again and gave another packet of sweeties. Just to see her smile. When she got off from the bus, her lips still held the smile that the treats had given her. 

There was another girl where the previous one currently stood. She was a little older than her, maybe 15. She held a baby in her arms that I doubt was not even hers. But she came to me and begged to give some money to feed her baby. The little girl then interfered saying that I had already given her food. 

What shocked me that the older girl shouted at her saying that she don’t need food, she want money.

Was this a dreamworld versus reality encounter? Did the older girl knew that she will be punished if she didn’t handed the money to an elder? Was it wrong for the little girl to smile at me when I didn’t gave her what could have saved her from punishment but somehow stopped her growling stomach?

I don’t know.

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