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The constant stare.. What did it mean?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by malspie, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. malspie

    malspie Platinum IL'ite

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    The constant stare.. What did it mean?

    I was traveling by a local train (again!!) and had taken a window seat. A young girl not older than 9 was constantly staring at me. She was in a tattered frock, slippers larger than her feet; her hair needed urgent oiling, but neatly tied in to a pony tail with decorative hair clips. She just could not take her gaze off me. I was stealing my glances at her constantly. Doubts of pick – picketer’s crossed my head. I tugged to my vanity bag and looked outside the window. She edged towards me with a smile. I completely ignored her. The train was virtually empty and my journey was not more than 12 minutes.

    The girl bent down and picked up a large basket. How she managed to balance herself with that basket in the running train was a remarkable fete by itself. I quickly peeped in to her basket which had lovely hair clips, bindis, hair bands, ear-rings, bangles, finger rings etc… They looked colorful and attractive immaterial of their shelf life. She carried the basket waited next to me for a couple of seconds and started selling her wares. “Clip, bindi, band, sab milta hain. Lo na behanjee. Lo na,” she pleaded at everyone. (Clips, bindi, band everything you will get. Please buy, please.)
    No one was paying heed to her. Few were busy talking others were reading. Five minutes had passed and only 7 minute more. I may also get off. For some strange reasons, she once again looked at me, this time pointing to me that my Dupatta was touching the floor of the train. She had a small smile on her face. I quickly gathered my dupatta and positioned myself more comfortably. She purposely stood next to me with the basket so that I can have a clear look. It strummed my heart strings, poor girl was just trying to sell her wares to me as she had spotted me wearing all matching accessories and she was all convinced that I would buy her wares. I quickly started tossing her wares looking out for few good ones. The time was running out and I had to get off. She was more willing to display all that she had and even ran to the end of the compartment to get few more goodies from her store bag. I picked up couple of ear-rings and hair clips for my maid and hair bands for me. I also randomly collected few bindis. She was very quick with her calculations. As I was finalizing so was she summing up fast with the figures. I gave her the money and walked to the door to get off. For some strange reasons I turned and looked at her, she was still looking at me. I cleared my conceptions and hit my conscious. This time I smiled back at her. She waived her tiny hands at me. So did I. When I got off the train, I could see commuters calling out to her to show her wares. I prayed for those eyes which was quick to spot a buyer. Nine years is all she must be, but, her experience to survive was remarkable. My Hats off to you Girlie.

    My next post is:
    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/indian-stories/15266-the-dark-night-short-story.html

    Happy Reading..
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
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  2. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: he constant stare.. What did it mean?

    hi mals,

    Surely liked your girlie...i have seen few on the signals selling earbuds, papers, and everything..and they can really point a buyer...(I always wonder do they have an antennae).

    Even, if the goodies don't suit our taste or last longer I buy some, because that way i am helping..and i am happy they are not begging..they working hard..future businessmen.
     
  3. malspie

    malspie Platinum IL'ite

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    Re: he constant stare.. What did it mean?

    Hi Shanvy,

    I have inherited this habit from my mother, who would buy almost everything from the basket of wonders.. she was termed lost sister of "Karnan' of Mahabharatha... Some qualities do rub in us.. Thanks for peeping in and knowing you too keep buying things like me...
     
  4. honeybee

    honeybee Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Mals
    Loved your post :thumbsupand the way you presented the girl's attitude.

    I do feel sorry when I see children trying to make a living at a very tender age. What a responsibility to shoulder when they need to be attending a school.:-( Yet,I appreciate the fact that she chose to work rather than beg.:clap

    Identifying potential buyers.. wow what an art..
    Please do continue writing on such thought provoking subjects.

    Regards
    Honeybee
     
  5. malspie

    malspie Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi Honeybee,

    Your words of encouragement leads me to write on such issues. Keep posting in my thread. Thanks buddy.
     
  6. Nivedi

    Nivedi New IL'ite

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    Hi Mals,

    This little girl and many like her are such spirited folks whose ability to survive against all odds is awe-inspiring.

    :thumbsup
     
  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Mals
    That story of the young girl tugged at my heart strings for some strange reason. I was worried that you might get off the train completely ignoring the girl and heaved a sigh of relief at your humane action. Hats off to you,Mals!
    Sri
     
  8. desidiva

    desidiva New IL'ite

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    Malspie,

    A touching episode…you brought back some wrenching memories of such young kids working for survival. I guess most people in India are so used to kids doing such things that it does not trigger any sadness in seeing them…every time I have seen kids laboring I have been guilt ridden for having such a good life style…I know it will sound like an exaggeration but I have always had difficulty breathing and felt like somebody has stabbed me and is twisting the knife when someone is robbed of their childhood and youth….have always wondered what punishment is this of God that they have to suffer like this....I am getting too sentimental on this….

    Vib
     
  9. malspie

    malspie Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi Cheeniya,

    I am so touched to see your post here and your kind words. Keep encouraging me to ease the ink flow of my pen. Thank you very much.
     
  10. malspie

    malspie Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi Vib,

    The same goes with me. I had a lavish upbringing and never knew what problems are. I got all that I asked for may be more than I asked for. Hence, when I see such poverty and distress me too feel God has been unkind. I recollect all the tantrums that I have thrown to get things and compare to their life style who is merely struggling to make two ends meet.

    Worse is when there are festive occassions and you see them selling wares around wearing the same clothes. i like the way they admire others. Their eyes speak volume and makes everyone guilty..

    Thanks Vibs for stepping in to my post...
     

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