It was a day that went by much too fast. Just a while ago, I was waking up in my bed…having overslept by normal working day standards. Running around, multi-tasking at unbelievable levels, crashing into doors and banging into tables, I stumbled my way to office. I step in and tasks come flying at me; it is half an hour before I have time to keep my bag in place and drink a sip of water.
Summer is raging, and the sweat trickling down my back. I had rushed up the stairs but a much-needed breather does not come until lunch time. The madness continues…meetings, discussions, Excel sheets and Google docs!! I rush out with a colleague for a meeting, but that meeting turns out to be pretty much ‘a waste of time’. Back to office and it is almost time to wrap up the day. Just then, I get a text from my husband. We had to deliver some containers to a friend and the meeting time just got pushed up to an hour before the scheduled time. So basically…..that meant I was back on my feet and maneuvering my way through traffic. Once again, I am rushing up the stairs, grabbing the bag and running down to my bike. Back in to the traffic. Having delivered those containers just on time, I am out to buy some groceries. I walk, hoping to finally breathe a sigh of relief, but diversions in roads leading to traffic jams don’t spare a chance. Having finally managed everything, I make my way home.
Tired and waiting to just crash straight in to bed. I turn in to our parking area, with a desolate expression on my face. I am driving mechanically, when I suddenly brake hard! A girl, about 4 years old, leaps straight in front of my bike. I give her a shocked expression, she simply smiles in return. She is the caretaker’s daughter, someone I know by sight and name. I wave her Goodbye when I leave for office; she dances in my path with a welcoming smile when I return.
Today, she is flaunting a new dress! Holding it up, twirling it and jumping with excitement as she screams, “Didi!!” I see it in her eyes, I hear it in her voice. She has been waiting all day for me to come back; just so I could admire her new dress. It is possibly someone’s discarded dress…but in her eyes, I realise its value. Her smile is contagious and before long, my tired expression breaks into a grin! My heavy footsteps get a spring in them as I walk up to my house.
And just as I turn a corner, I come face to face with the lady and daughter who live a floor below us. Again, someone I know by sight and name. She is dressed up in a fancy saree, and the smell of perfume envelops her. She smiles at me, and I smile back. I expect her to just walk away, when she suddenly holds my hand. “You look so tired, just look at those eyes!!” For a moment, I don’t know how to react. She asks me about my day, she tells me about the birthday party she is heading out to attend and she warns me to relax when I get home. I nod, acknowledging her advice and continue my walk up the stairs. Just as I fumble around for my key, I hear her voice floating up the stairs, “What a sweet girl she is! What a pretty face! She’s always so polite and smiling…it is good to have her around. She brings a little bit of sunshine to this building…” She is talking to her daughter, and I am smiling over these unexpected compliments coming my way.
When I was about to reach home, I was waiting for the day to come to an end. Now I think I might last a few hours and happily. You spend the day, looking out for life but you realise, Life is also out there…looking out for you.
It just doesn’t always lie in great achievements and lengthy meetings. Sometimes, just sometimes, it peeks out from an innocent child’s grimy smile and through a polite conversation with a neighbour. It brings the warmth back in to the world.