Unexpected encounter

Unexpected encounter

Reflections: Children give the world its sheen

An unexpected encounter

It was a bright, merry afternoon in November and the cool breeze blew gently over the tennis courts that lay adjacent to the car park where I pulled over. The setting sun on the western sky sent beams of rich crimson and red through the gaps in the foliage of the mighty Gulmohar of the surrounding. I enjoyed escorting my son, a sports enthusiast, to the tennis academy three times a week where he trained and delighted in playing the game. There were other budding Federers and Nadals with whom I liked interacting in the two-hour wait that the sporting session entailed.

But on that particular day, it was the unexpected encounter I had with an unexpected kid that got etched in my mind for the deep message I learned from the interface.

Seated at the enclosure reserved for the parents of the students of the academy, I noticed a little boy, roughly clad, not more than 10 years of age, peep through the aperture of the area with searching eyes. Curiosity getting the better of prudence, I gestured to him as to what he wanted. His searching eyes, now in an instant, became pleading and urgent. In an effort to console him, I went out of the enclosure and enquired the reason for his desperation.

“I am looking for the coach. He promised to give me a used and old tennis ball to play with my friends,” he said softly but firmly. Overcome with sympathy and recalling the spare ball that lay in the boot of the car, I said, “Come with me, I will give you one.” Immediately he took my outstretched hands and walked beside me with an unsuspecting trust that little children can place in any stranger. Taking the ball, I offered it to him. He grabbed it from me with the joy of having found a priceless treasure. As he ran off to tell his friends, children of the labourers of a construction site nearby, of his unexpected gift, my world was in some undefinable way altered that evening.

I realised then how incredibly and wonderfully children are made, whether they are born in the unfortunate circumstances of a slum or in the grandeur of the elite. With their innocence and unbounded curiosity they reach out for the wonder and adventure of life. With an unmatched enthusiasm to enjoy the present moment and cherish the joy in the little things in life with mindfulness, they are storehouses of joy sending beams of cheer brightening up the world.

They play and explore like there is no tomorrow while living the present fully.

They are perhaps the only creations of God who can stay happy all the time, and for no specific reason. Indeed, they are nothing short of God’s blessing upon the human race.

The evening was still bright and merry when my son returned from his class. The cool breeze now carried with it the faint sounds of children playing in the vicinity. “Mom, look at those boys there. They are having such a lovely football game with a tennis ball,” I heard my son saying as I turned the ignition and whispered a prayer of thanks for all the wonderful children of the universe without whom the world would be less fascinating.

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