What I Learnt From That 6-Year Old Girl

It was a typical rainy evening. I had spent the entire day in the office and was beginning to worry about the return journey back home. Since I am a sub-urban guy, the return-ride to my home is nothing less than hell. To make matters worse, it was Friday. I had to update my reports. Time flew by and before I knew it, I was late.

So, I rushed to catch the metro and reached Dum Dum way in to the night. The next train was in about half hour and it was raining like crazy. With my head-phones in full volume and hunger in my stomach, I reached the nearest tea-stall (nothing like a cup of tea on a stormy night). I took a packet of cake as well. I found a place and I sat down and stared vacantly into the other end of the empty platform.

Courtesy - Chestofbooks.com

I finished my cup, threw it on the track and began opening up the cake-wrapper.

A little arm stretched out and I saw a little girl with torn clothes pointing towards the cake. Her hair was all wet and yet she was happy. She was asking for that piece of cake as if it was her’s! Surprised at the sudden accompaniment, I gladly obliged.

I thought that this little soul would move on after her little “conquest”, but I was mistaken. She was in no hurry to leave and she started to dance and sing right there! I was kinda embarrassed, you know, with people gathering around. But then, it all didn’t matter to me anymore. I started to enjoy this little lady’s song and dance.

Around ten minutes passed and she was all dancing and getting more treats from people around. And then, she suddenly stopped. Just like that. She came up to me and asked, “Ami Agarparae thaki. Ami okhane oi tabij ta nite jachhi jeta porle amake oi bodmash gulo nie jete parbena.” (I stay at Agarpara. I am going there to get that pendant so that if I wear it, those bad guys won’t take me away.)

Intrigued, I went on and asked about her father, mother or any brother who might be around. But she said she was alone and by her behavior, she was enjoying every bit of it.
She kept on throwing her legs and hands in the air while she hung on to that ever-diminishing piece of cake. And while she did that, she suddenly stopped (again!) and said, “Ami boro hole na dilli chole jabo. Ekhon to ami choto? Tai ekhon chole gele, ma khub kandbe. Tai boro hole chole jabo.” (When I grow up, I will go away to Delhi. I am not going now since if I do that, my mom would cry.)

My world stopped there for quite a few moments. The rain, the sudden crowd became so irrelevant to me. I was amazed at that child’s maturity and how much she was clear about what she wanted and when. She knew which trains would take her where, and which ones won’t. She knew the Bongaon line like the back of her tiny little palm.

And just when we are enjoying the moment, wanting it to stay, the moment passes.
The train was announced.

“Train ta late na kaku?”, she asked. (The train is late, isn’t it?)
I nodded.

Suddenly, the station became overcrowded. And just like she came, with the sudden burst of fresh air, she disappeared in to the crowd with the piece of cake. It was as if God was signaling me to get back in touch with myself, with my feelings.

I remembered that little spark of life during the entire train journey. Her deep words and yet simple thoughts ultimately compelled me to write a blog.


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