Driving with family, is fun these days. With my daughter aside me, dancing and waving her hands on every song, lifts our spirits. While peeping through the window, she yells “bhow-bhow”, whenever she sees any dog on the roads. And points out “Baby”, wherever she sees kids across streets. During one such exploratory drives to West Delhi from Ghaziabad, we halted at a red signal. While we were awaiting for the traffic lights to turn green, she sprang from my wife’s lap and pointed “Ball”! We gazed off our windows, and saw an underprivileged child selling “Balloons”.
And then, the reality struck!
In one frame, I could see two lives, of similar age group, separated by a car window. Inside the car, comforted in the arms of her mother, there was my daughter, pleading us to buy a balloon for her. And beyond the windows of air-conditioned frills, there was kid, just few years older than my daughter, pleading too, for us to buy a balloon from him!
Like every childhood should have been, my daughter craved for that balloon to play and have fun. But for that rain-drenched kid, that balloon was all about surviving that day, to be the least. Marred by destiny’s cruel joke on life (just by birth), one kid is blessed to savour the best of its childhood. While for the other, even being “child-like” in this cursed life, is a luxury. Seeing such kids begging or selling on roads have always made me heart cringe, and it was no different day.
Meanwhile, I bought the balloon, hoping to add some “life” to each kid. But no sooner I did this, many more waifs, holding balloons swarmed around my car. All eyes hoping me to buy another one too. The signal turned green, and “the Orchestra of Horns” brought me back to my make-believe world, and we moved ahead to our destination.
That day, my daughter relished frolicking with that balloon, with laughter and giggles being the icing. But trust me, deep inside, there was a wounded soul screaming with huge discontentment – “I wish, I could have done more”!
The image and the thought of paralleled lives of these kids and my daughter (both holding a balloon) still haunt me. Hope God helps me answer these anomalies sooner. Though today, I am back, juggling with our daily chores.
But I hope one day, I will do more, much more!
Will you too?