As I stood waiting out on a hot humid day, hooting and whistling for a taxi to take me home, I realized my hopes were futile. Nobody was ready to take me home which was practically 3 kilometers away. The drivers too knew I was a local mumbaiker and was not the one to pay extra easily so chances of cheating were slim to none for them. Yes, I could have walked home if I wanted, but it very hot, humid with the afternoon soon beating on my back, sucking my energy out. I was just fired from my job and you could say I woke up on the wrong side of my bed. I wasn't exactly excited to go home and spread the news to my parents. Cussing at the taxi drivers I walked into a nearby meela (fair) to buy myself a goola (ice lolly). After paying for it I sat and watched as a silent bystander to observe my fellow humans. Seeing kids with their boyish grins while they ride the merry-go-round. Girls getting mehandi (tattoos) on their chubby fingers. Mothers frantically running around to control their sugar-rush high kids. In all, a typical meela. Right then, a man came and occupied the seat next to me. So I took the opportunity to scrutinized this man. He seemed to be in his mid-fifties. A perfectly kept French cut beard with almost balding hairline, a pretty fit body with hazel coloured eyes, and was a dusky complextion. He looked like a man who was a heart breaker in his golden years. When suddenly he locked eyes with me. Embarrassed I looked away, when he just smiled and said "Good afternoon!" I tried to force a smile and greet him back but my body tired from the days events, I failed miserably. He noticed and just gave a warm smile, which made me guard myself. Then he just said "Smile little girl, the world is too full on frowns. It seems as if you have a really nice smile." Hearing this I was baffled and almost was going to pick up my purse and flee from there but his eyes held me back. There was a hidden sadness in them. As if he knew I was on the run, he shrugged his shoulder looks at me and said "I wasn't being creepy. I just wanted to see a real full-blown smile. I haven't seen one in a long long time and my heart aches that people don't smile that often. It's a rare sight now days and for some reason I have a feeling you have a real pretty smile."
Creeper or not, it was nice to hear a compliment, so I just though 'Oh what the hell' and just gave him a small smile and stood up to walk away, when he surprised me with muttering a "Thanks." and walked away.
I finally finished my goola and caught a taxi and went home. My phone was blaring up with calls from my friends, parents, all probably trying to talk to me to cheer me up. But when I was brushing my teeth, I noticed that the man was right. I did have a nice smile. Not to sound narcissistic, but I do and for some reason that lifted my mood and for the rest of the day, I had a small smile on my face.
Such strange meetings, with strange people at unexpected moments just somehow manage to play an important role in your life, a small, but nevertheless important. This stranger made me proud of my smile and remind me, that fall in love with yourself first. If you don't love yourself, how you do expect others too?
PS - sorry for the late and irregular blogging. I'm have a masters degree at procrastination.