LIFE – A moment’s worth

By L. Elango Prasad

 It was 4 in the evening.I was walking near the Coovam Bridge. It was a bad day. My head was filled with so many questions. What am I doing with my life? What is it that I am striving towards? What is the purpose of me being born in this world? How much does it matter if the world lost .00000…….1% of its population? Too many difficult questions with probably the simplest of the answers. Nothing.

 Then I spotted an old beggar sitting there in a corner with torn clothes, wrinkled face, deep red miniature eyes, chapped lips, light brown hair and patches of black all over his skin. One good look at him would make anyone realize that he had not eaten for days. In any normal day I would have strolled past him without much consideration about his plight. But that was no normal day. So I decided to observe how the passersby react   from a respectable distance. First came a quintessential modern youngster with his headphones connected and his head shaking probably synchronizing with the beat. I was pretty sure that his glance fell upon the old man. Yet as he approached him, he turned his head away as if the other side of the Coovam had a pretty sight in offer. He probably didn’t care or was among the multitude who think a rupee wouldn’t change the beggar`s life.

Then came a young woman with her  daughter who would be around six or seven. As they were crossing him, the child`s sympathizing eyes met his yearning pair. Her mom had to drag her until they were clear of him. It made me realize that as a child we were all very humanistic. Wonders which age could do to you!

After them came a middle aged woman. She was all dressed up in a striking pattu sari and golden ornaments largely covering the portions left out by the sari. Her face wore a look of disgust on seeing his shabby appearance. She was oblivious to the fact that life was the only luxury he was hoping to possess that day.

I stood there for about fifteen minutes watching that man take on the world just to make the day. I searched my pocket and found a 2 rupee coin. I didn’t think it would matter much. But that was all I had left that day. In a sudden rush of humanism, I gave it to him. Then came the moment which I would never forget for the rest of my life. Among the innumerable wrinkles his mouth widened a bit. It took me a moment to realize that he was smiling. That was it. No words spoken. No eye contact. No bowing of heads. Just a momentary flicker of a smile. That was my glorified moment. Out of the 7 billion human population, I was there for him at that moment. It was ME.

 May be there isn’t anything to strive towards in my life. May be(definitely) my name will not feature among those who changed the course of humanity. But that little smile made my life meaningful. May be the purpose of my life is to light up these little moments rather than go on searching about a big one. I might as well serve it every single moment before I run out of them.

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By L. Elango Prasad

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