It’s not everyday that you come across a lonely stranger. But that day was unique. Mall hopping has been a great past-time when getting bored and that day too I was doing just that. On a chilly winter evening when some would have loved to sip on hot soup and park themselves inside, I wandered into Fun Republic. Funny though it may seem I was with family trying to find a watch worth buying at a premier store like Shoppers Stoppe.
With nothing worth the money we had we walked out of the shop. Went on a window shopping spree, checked out some of the latest the shops had to offer and quickly grabbed corn and walked out. Sad I was that watches in Shoppers Stoppe were expensive and affordability in such shops was a concern.
We had barely walked out of the mall and started walking towards the car when we encountered a 50 odd balloons floating in thin air. Just as we reached closer a cute kid popped from amidst the balloons. He asked us if we were interested in a balloon. We saw the small lonely stranger had quite a bit to offer. He had balloons in the shape of a guitar for small rockstars. He had the heart shaped balloons for those who were ready to fall in love and even the traditional balloons for kids who were everready to play with them only to finally prick it, only to make it go boom.
At 30 I obviously was not made for balloons. My mom explained to the kid Bhaia ab bada ho gaya hai, ab ghar pe balloon se khelne wala koi nahi hai. My father having worked with the poor and oppressed as a part of an NGO was very polite to the kid and said Beta Udhar dekh bahut log hain, teri bikri acchi hogi. But in the heart of hearts we wished he enjoyed life and not sell balloons at this tender age.
Much to our surprise for nearly 8 minutes the boy followed us all the way to the car pleading to us that please take one balloon. It is only 20 chips. Life is tricky for such children, they live life in penury and the elders often push the youngsters to go out and bring home the money. Even though at first glance the situation seemed to be the same, I saw a spark in his eye. This was a patient boy who would do anything to get his money but only by hook not by crook.
We finally took a guitar shaped balloon and the kid emerged a valiant person having achieved success in his sales pitch. Perhaps it was god’s way of telling me that while we as individuals are running after watches and other luxury items of premium brands, some like that lonely stranger I met need us more. Needless to say that more than the happiness of buying a watch, making the kid happy that day, gave us immense pride.