‘Just a moment’ is very special as it was the first of my published piece. I remember the exaltation I felt upon discovering that my contribution was featured in the weekly magazine ‘Thursday.’ This was a well-known weekly publication in Muscat. Subsequent to this Thursday regularly featured my writeup, but the first time I witnessed my name on a magazine will always occupy a special place.
It is surprising how as humans we can be unthinkably disparate and at times predictably identical in our traits. Having said this I give myself the leisure of presuming that our typical moments are those when we are caught up in our own problems, situations and concerns. Too overwhelmed and inundated by the challenges our everyday life offers. Yet there are those rare moments of grace when we spare a thought for others. The times when we step out of our myopic world and feel consecrated. Those moments we count our blessings at being alive with our loved ones around us. Clicking our tongues on Tsunami victims, homeless street children, disabled destitute, or abandoned aged does not escalate their tribulations but at least such introspective moments make us more humane. It bestows us the courage to raise above our circumstances count our blessings and get on with life.
One such atypical moment gripped me during my journey back while vacationing in Delhi. I was brooding about how our vacation has been soured by various concerns weighing on us at that moment. The bone-chilling cold and gloomy morning added fuel to my murky mood. Can there never be a breather in our life? I dismissed my husband’s optimism as an escapist attitude to reality. I sat in the cab that was to take us to the airport with my sleepy daughter, as my husband loaded the luggage. My eyes got transfixed on an extremely ordinary sight. I saw nothing significant but my mind read volumes to it. A boy merely in his teens got down from his bicycle that was almost crushed by a load of newspaper at the back. He was only equipped with a thin tattered sweater to battle the nerve-racking cold that had gripped northern India this winter. He took a pile of the newspaper and ran towards the 13- storied apartment. He had a deadline to meet, to deliver the newspaper to the doorsteps of each house on each floor on time.
There I sat in the car gaping and wondering if the boy goes to school if he has parents to look after him at home if he gets even one square meal a day. How insignificant and trivial my troubles seemed at that moment. How self-centred I seemed to myself in that fleeting instant. It was not the first time that I chanced upon the world of children of lesser God. Neither was it the first time I was moved yet it was different. I had attached too much significance to a petty issue in my life. I was guilty of a crime and that moment echoed the pangs of self-reproach I suffered.