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..