My Space: Life’s lessons from unexpected quarters…

Taking the 7:45 Tambaram train, I realised that my prayers had been answered; the compartment was less crowded and I even managed to get a seat! I took out my smartphone and soon became engrossed in a game of Subway Surf and occasional Facebook notifications.

After a while, a woman in her late 20s boarded the train with two children: a girl about five years old and an infant asleep in her arms. She made herself comfortable on the floor and took out a makeshift drum and started beating it. Her daughter started dancing to the not-so-rhythmic tune. After a two-minute performance, she came around holding a plate asking for alms. A gentleman next to me offered her a chocolate bar.

After finishing her rounds, she went back to her mother and gave her the plate and the chocolate and started playing with her sibling who had just woken up. The mother unwrapped the chocolate, gave it to the child and cuddled her two children.

I couldn’t stop myself from contrasting their lives with mine where I have an ever-growing list of endless “essentials” ranging from iPhone 5, a new car, headphones, aviators... All these essential things seemed so meaningless now. I always equated happiness with being rich and getting all you want. But the child and her mother managed to break this illusion.

The author is in I Year, Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering, Madras Institute of Technology

Keywords: life lessons

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