Lead, Kindly Light
|Image courtesy of cartoon-clipart.com|
Yesterday began something like this. The doorbell rang. I opened it to see the cleaner taking a bucket of water from the neighbour. Diwali cleaning for the building had begun.
It was 6 pm and I had promised her a Karaoke night. I called out to her from the balcony and she was up in a jiffy. I packed her off to the shower while I got ready myself. Just then the bell rang for the umpteenth time. I really hate being the ‘beck and call’ girl, but the bell had to be answered. Gauri and Anjali were standing at the door. They had something hidden behind their backs. I tried to gently prod, but they wanted an audience with the princess. I told them that she was in the shower and whatever the message was, I would pass it on. Reluctantly, they handed me a pack of Lays and Kurkure respectively and said that this was for the daughter.
I smiled, “Aur mere liye?” (and for me?)
They looked up with large limpid eyes, “Aunty, yeh usko thank you bolne ke liye hai.” (Aunty, this is to tell her thank you)
Looking at the question mark on my face, Gauri spoke first. “Aunty, usnne mujhe chaniya choli diya Diwali ke liye aur matching shoes bhi”, (Aunty, she gave me a chaniya choli for Diwali alongwith matching shoes) she had an elated smile.
Anjali added, “Aunty, kal mera English ka paper hai na, toh usne mujhe sikhaya bhi aur mera test bhi liya. Ab mera paper accha jayega. Aunty usko thank you bolna.” (Aunty, Tommorrow is my english paper na, she taught me and took my test also. Now my paper will go well. Aunty, tell her I said thank you.)
For some reason, the girls were a little blurry as I took the snack packets and shut the door. Suddenly all was clear as the tears made their way through expensive face make up.
When the daughter was out from her luxurious bath, I handed her the snack packets saying the girls bought them for her. She nonchalantly shrugged her shoulders and asked me to hurry up else we would be late for the Karaoke.
“What? I did the same thing that you did this morning. You only said na we must be kind, especially to those in need………” her voice broke off mid way as she went looking for her shoes.
And as I readied to head out, I made a mental note that kids learn not by words but by actions. And they pick it most at the time when you are not trying to teach them. They eventually become not who you want them to be, but who you are in reality.