Weekend is that part of the week, which is ideally meant for leisure, spend time with family, friends and very importantly for sleeping. It is like the tiniest speed breaker for you to slow down in this fast moving, routine, neck cutting life of ours. But, here I was totally unaware of the small awakening within me. Gautham Buddha was enlightened sitting under the shade of the Bodhi tree, and here I was in an open sports playground for my Enlightenment.
Saturday, Sundays are usually the busiest part of the week for me; the whole family is at home (mostly expecting some new delicacy on the table each time they walk up to the table). Apart from the usual cleaning and dusting, I also teach classical dance to few kids in the locality. And to add to all this I do get away with little time to roam about in the surrounding area with my husband and kid.
One such Sundays I was out with my spouse and daughter to a sports ground of a renowned college nearby. My husband generally prefers that our daughter plays more of outdoor games as she is just 2 and a half and we make it a point to carry a plastic ball or a football along. The place is filled with a few athletes practicing shot put, discus, etc and few practicing football. Amid all of these huge gentlemen, my tiny little daughter was drifting along the wind to kick her stone weight football. My husband as usual was guiding her and showing her few moves and funny tricks to make her laugh now and then. I generally am just a spectator to the whole show and rejoice the evening breeze. The trees around the ground make it more scenic and beautiful with a drowsy weather that we are experiencing these days.
Suddenly out of nowhere she appeared. I dint see her walking into the playground, probably because I was engrossed in nature’s beauty, or maybe she dint want me to see her. She started playing with my daughter’s football; initially as a typical mother I felt it to be a nuisance. Later I realized she was totally indulged in the play and was helping my daughter learn too. I later called her to know her name. Madhavi.
Madhavi is a happy go lucky street smart sweet daughter of a construction worker. Her mother tongue is Telugu. Both of us couldn’t understand each other’s language but there was an immediate connect between our eyes. She couldn’t get my daughter’s name right too, but she enjoyed playing with the football.
After an hour’s play all were tired and we had to head back home. My kid and Madhavi waved their goodbyes to length. As I was rushing my daughter, I saw Madhavi’s eyes. They were stuck to the Nike football in my husband’s hand. As lightening strikes I realized the pain childhood can give you just for the sake of a ball. Her eyes, which were free of any sorrow or fear so far, only seemed to yearn for this. I realized that though we talk about giving our kids, education, nutritious food, safety, there are loads of kids out there with nothing and no one to care about. Imagine the plight of poor Madhavi if she had to ask her parents to buy a ball. They could not afford regular food properly; let alone a toy to play.
I wanted to give away the football so much, but it was my husband’s favorite. I couldn’t ask him, and not even leave the place without watching her eyes brighten up. That’s when I was enlightened. It is not enough to talk about and feel altruistic, it is about to put things in action and mean what we say. Which again is so difficult? We live in such a society that we cling on to material stuffs and forget our values when it is most needed.
I and my husband went back to the same ground the next day with a new ball we purchased for Madhavi, but we couldn’t find her. We had to leave the ball with the construction workers security head, who assured us that he will hand it over to Madhavi. He was very thankful for our gesture. But I missed the bullet, I don’t know whether it actually reached her, I missed the glitter in her eyes.