Walking round the park, to the tune of his favourite song wafting in his ears, was something he always enjoyed. Not only did it make him feel happy from within, it also allowed him to exist somewhere between reality and imagination, in thought-filled suspension. Among the things that he made sure never to miss, were the daily walks in the park, followed by the coffee from the “cycle waala anna” as he used to call him. For him, the walks were not just exercise, but also means to calm down his mind, to detoxify his thoughts.

Today had been an unusually bad day at work, with his boss making sure that he hated his job a bit more than usual. Surprisingly, today the walk had failed to calm him. Perhaps he was overwhelmed by all that had happened during the day. To top it, the coffee waala was nowhere to be seen, which pissed him off even more. As he finished his walk and waited for his dose of coffee, he happened to notice a kid playing at some distance from him. Not finding anyone around supervising the child, he walked towards the kid, almost prepared to admonish him for playing alone in the park. When he reached a few steps away from the kid, he noticed that there was no reason really for anyone to be around the kid. His torn clothes and dusty demeanor told of a street-side orphan, whom you could expect to roam the streets alone. The broken toys in his hands further confirmed his suspicion.

Slightly disappointed, he drew away, but then something caught his attention. The boy had on his face, perhaps one of the brightest smiles he had ever seen. Absolutely engrossed in his own little world, the boy was least bothered by all that happened around him.

Toote khilone se khelne mein itna mazaa aata hai tujhe?” (Do you really enjoy playing with a broken toy so much?), he asked.

Looking up and beaming, the kid replied “Haan. Kal to ye bhi nahi tha. Aaj kuch to hai na.” (Of course! Yesterday I did not even have this. At least today I have something)

Aur kal agar ye bhi nahi raha toh?” (And what if you don’t have this with you tomorrow?)

To kya? Toh phir kuch aur hoga. Uske liye rone ka kaayko?” (So what? Maybe I will have something else. Why to worry about that?)

Saying so, the kid went back to his game, leaving him thinking. Yaar, sach hi to bola woh..why to cry?, he smiled to himself as he walked back. Tomorrow was indeed going to be a brighter day at work. He was going to make sure it was. 🙂