On my way home from work the other day, I stopped at my neighborhood supermarket. My driver went in to pick up a couple of items for me while I waited in the car. Great chance to people watch!
Right next to my car window was a kid-magnet. A guy on a cycle had two hot items he was selling – a noise maker (toy flute) and an eye catcher (glowing florescent yo-yo). He was playing alternatively with the flute and the yo-yo to catch the attention of prospective customers. This neighborhood attracts many young families so he had obviously chosen well. It’s all about the location, isn’t it?
As I was watching, along came three little fellas. They could not have been more than six years old, and this was obviously their play time. They didn’t look like the kind of kids from families who lived in the surrounding apartments. Neither were they the very poor kids I have seen on the streets. Let’s say they were somewhere in-between, but definitely leaning towards the lower end of the spectrum. I would venture a guess and say that they were children of some of the household help working in the apartments
It didn’t take them long to spot flute-yoyo man. I could just see their eyes light up. I would bet that they did not have one rupee amongst the three of them. Undaunted, they approached him, just a wee bit cautiously, but eying the yo-yos greedily. They were absolutely fascinated by them. They didn’t even look at his face when they asked – Uncle, uncle how much? I saw “uncle” take one look and dismiss them. He said, Twenty rupees. Now, scram. They took off, but I saw them looking again and again over their shoulders. Clearly, that night’s dreams were set.
I softly talked to “uncle” and paid him sixty rupees. I asked him to call them back and give them the yo-yos. He yelled at them – Hey, come back here. Take these…which colors do you want? My, but their faces and eyes. All lit up! It was Christmas and Diwali and altogether unexpected. That was the best part. Thank you, thank you, uncle! They took their presents and ran off, laughing innocence, all the way.
After an exhausting time at work, that selfishly, simply and absolutely made my day.