Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Eyes of Life

Eyes of Life
 (An Account in life, a musing written by Me.)

It was a chilly and foggy winter morning in the month of November, when I set out on my daily morning walk. This is a quiet location uphill where 5 roads intersect at a nice little garden that has been constructed at the center of the junction. It also has an early morning Market Place where hundreds of locals from all over congregate. I love this place as it gives you time enough to walk along the cobblestone road lined with vegetable and fruit vendors selling their wares in their own traditional way. Though it is a marketplace there is seldom the usual chatter that you get to hear in other markets. It is much quieter with vendors and the buyers quietly making their deals.

As I walked all the way to the junction I pulled my wind cheater closer to my body as it was cold. My eyes settled on an old lady who has been sitting there since many years. She quietly passed a tired smile. It sent a chill down my spine. I smiled back, and went onwards on my walk. As I walked ahead I could hear the buyers haggling for prices and discussing the price hikes. While a few casual laborers who carry vegetables settled down to smoking, oblivious or rather least cared about the ban on public smoking, I waved in the air to ward off the unwelcome smoke. A group of urchins were biting on leftover stale hard bread. As I walked down rubbing my hands in the cold, I saw some more girls rummaging amongst the waste vegetable leftovers trying to get their hands on the best they could salvage.

Somehow, at every step I was seeing life in its face, while the world was going on its routine as normal, oblivious to the challenges of life. To top it all I spotted a young vagabond dragging deeply on his drugged shot, and sharing it with other children much younger his age. It sent a chill down my spine. All I had wanted was a quiet early morning walk, and here I was seeing life in its eyes. As if that was not all, I got a view of cheating, pick pocketing, and even bribing to add to my day’s experience. I thought I had enough, and quickly purchased the basic needs for the day and as I returned towards the junction where the old lady was sitting. 
I purchased some “Roti” and “Sabji” i.e. Indian bread and some cooked vegetables to give to the old lady; as I felt a deep urge to share a part of whatever little I could with her. As I walked towards her it started drizzling, an unseasonal shower at this time of the year. I quickly pulled over the cap of my wind cheater over my head and bent down to offer the food to the old lady. Shivering as she was in the cold, with the rain now hitting hard on her, she quickly tried to pull over the border of her Sari over her head. 

I was moved, and while I placed the food in her hands, I quickly pulled off my wind cheater and covered it over her shoulder, placing the cap on her head. I felt a deep sense of calm and peace prevail over me, while the old lady smiled back, her eyes moist with emotion. She thanked me for the food, and somehow the look in her eyes said it all. It was as if she was saying “I have seen it all dear”. No wonder that sitting there at the center of the junction she was staring life in its eyes. As if the heavens had approved of the relation, the rain slowly subsided, and as I walked home I glanced back for a passing shot of the lady, when she waved out with her frail hands, and shook her head in a nod. I have yet to try and understand what the nod meant, but for me it was the most peaceful and moving moment of my life in a long time to come.

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