Lessons ...

It was a pretty cold morning and wind was cutting chill, I usually don't like to cover myself under my quilt, instead I prefer going on a morning walk, just to breathe those fresh air and enjoy the symphony of birds who would be singing at the best of their voices. I had a pretty bad day at work yesterday and my mind was pregnant with those thoughts, and I took a conscious decision of not to think about that anymore. I walked into the park where I usually do four of five rounds and will just admire the beauty of Mother Nature. It was 7:00 in the morning and the park was virtually empty as the weather was so cold that no one would actually want to venture out.

I just comforted myself by digging my hands right into the pockets of my jerkin and lighted a cigar, still I could not get over the issues that I am facing at the work place, but again, I said, let me not think about that anymore. Just few meters away, there was an iron bench on which a small young girl was sleeping with her thighs close to her stomach and hands playing the role of a pillow, sleeping outside and that too on a cold winter morning is hell, I felt ashamed of digging my hands into my pockets, I slowly approached that girl and she was fast asleep, I just don't want to disturb her, but at the same time, I felt pity on her, so I removed my jerkin and then put that on top of her, so that she feels comfortable, but the moment I placed my jerkin on her, she got up and flashed a beautiful smile, she said - "No Thanks uncle, I am fine, it’s my mistake of sleeping on this bench, I should have chosen a good place, anyways thanks for your concern" and she winked her sparkling eyes.

It was just two of us in that beautiful park and there was a small coffee vending truck, I asked her if she minds to come with me and have a cup of coffee, she after hesitating initially, accepted to come with me, but she said that she will pay the money for her cup, I was surprised by that, and I asked her, do you have money to pay for your share, she just put her heads down and went silent, I know she does not have even a penny, and just to cheer her up I said, today let me pay for you and tomorrow you can pay for mine, she flashed that sparkling smile and said, If that is the deal, I am ok. I was stunned to see the kind of self-respect she has and her attitude was simply great. We ordered for two cups of coffee and placed ourselves under a cozy umbrella. I said,

I am Steve, 40 years old, working for a software company at the downtown and how about you ?

I am Amy, 7 years old, working for food and I work anywhere in this city ... and she winked ... she continued ...

How much do you earn ??

Though I was surprised by that question, I said, not sure if you are good at counting, I earn $30 per hour

Wowww, that's a huge amount. I would have to take ages to make $30, but don't worry, I will work hard to pay for your cup of coffee tomorrow.

She walked up to the counter and asked the man, what is the price of one cup of coffee, and that man said "$2.35 angel ..." her face visually turned dull and she inserted her tiny fingers into her gown and she pulled out another small sack bag and poured the contents of that on the table and she said, "Can you please count this for me ?", I could see lots of stones, empty chocolate wrappers, one small toy which had just 1 eye and amidst of that there were few coins, it all counted to 9 cents, I said you have 9 cents in total and immediately she asked me how much more she should add to make it to $2.35, I said she still needs to make $ 2.26, her eyes got wet, but she managed it pretty well that she did not let those tears flow out. I told her to take this cool, and she can get me my cup of coffee once she earns $2.35 and I will be coming to this park regularly. We both had our coffee and continued our conversation.

So where do you live, I asked her ...

I don't have a particular place as such, yesterday I stayed on that bench, normally the police uncle will not allow anyone to sleep on that bench, but yesterday I told him that I will get up early and go, so he allowed me to sleep. I think I have not over slept and then put that police uncle in a spot of bother. I just could not stop admiring her, she even though is homeless, and she is so cautious about not disturbing any one and at the same time is so caring about others feelings. I felt ashamed that I was worrying about my silly office issue. I continued ...

So where are your dad and mom ? Where do they live ?

She was so excited and screamed, "hey .. look at that bird in the nest, she actually was not there the whole of last night, and those little ones where constantly screeching, may be they were hungry or they were missing their mom, today she is back to the nest and see how cute she is feeding those little ones", she literally dragged me to that tree and for a moment I too re-winded my age to 7 years and enjoyed that beautiful scene with Amy. She was seeing that for a while and went dull, I could see that on her face and she slowly walked with me back to the place we were sitting. She asked me ...

Uncle, what is the time ?

8:00 AM I said ...

Oh my god, it’s getting late for my school, so can I leave now ? We will surely meet tomorrow and please don't drink coffee at your home, we will have it together and I am going to buy one for you, and she just ran out of the park. I was wondering where she can go to school when she is homeless and has no one to take care, and I decided to follow her and ran in the direction she went. She ran to the 8th street where there is a big convent, I decided to hide myself behind a tree and notice her actions. She stood next to the school entrance and I saw her talking something to the school security, but he was constantly nodding his head and at one stage he pushed her out and she fell down on the street, I was about to rush towards her to pick her up and give a nice whack to that security, but before that she stood up on her own and rushed towards a nearby play ground to play with the other kids, even there, no one bothered to invite her to play, but she showed all signs of enthusiasm by just watching the other kids play. I noticed that her gown got torn when the security pushed her down, so I decided to surprise her with a new gown tomorrow morning.

I went to the park the next day morning, this time not to enjoy the morning breeze or to listen to the symphony of those singing birds, it’s purely to see Amy and give her what I have got for her. Amy was waiting for me on the same bench, and to my shock she had her head completely shaven, I asked her - "What happened to your beautiful curly hair ?" she just did not answer to that, instead she took me to that coffee shop and ordered for 2 cups of coffee and looked at me, she inserted her tiny fingers into her gown which was torn in multiple places and took out a $5 bill and came and sat in front of me. I was shocked to see that she lost her beautiful hair, and the reason she gave me was even more shocking, she sold her hair for $ 5 to a wig company so that she can get me coffee today. I just could not control my tears, I hugged her and kissed her on her forehead and gave her the packet which has this new gown for her.

She strongly refused to take that from me saying that her mom has told her not to get anything from anyone if you don't have the capacity to pay back, I told her that she does not need to pay anything to me for this and she can take it for free, the moment I said that, She walked silently back to the bench and I followed her with the two cups of coffee she got for me. I still could not see her with a shaven head and my heart felt so heavy, I sat next to her and took her on my lap and made her to sip the coffee, once again, I could see her eyes lightening up and she dragged me to the same tree where we saw those birds yesterday, but today she showed me a beautiful red plum that was hanging on one of its branches and it looked "picture perfect" with that morning dew settling all over it, she asked me if I like plums, I said, "Oh I certainly do", immediately she climbed one of those wet branches and plucked one big plum for me and another small plum, she gave me that big plum to eat and kept that small plum into her gown, I asked her if she is not going to eat that, and she replied that the plum is not for her, it is for a old squirrel who lives on one of the tree top near 7th street and she has promised him that she will get him a plum today.

I once again requested her to take that gown which I got for her, this time she said, she needs some time to think and hence she will let me know tomorrow. Can a 7 year old girl, who is homeless and who does not have anyone to take care, be so matured ? And so caring about others ? That was the question which was haunting me thru out the day. I started hating the minutes when I am not with Amy and I felt as if I am sleeping on thorn when I sleep on the bed, where Amy sleeps on a cold iron bench. I decided to bring Amy home and take care of her, but I was skeptic if she will accept to that as she is not a normal kid, she is someone who is so special and she does not like to be at anyone’s pity. I was waiting for the morning cuckoo to start his alarm and I just could not wait for the darkness to dim, I went to the park around 6 AM and I was shocked to see that Amy was not there on that bench, I felt as if my world has stopped, I rushed to the security guard who was guarding that park last night and asked him if he saw a little girl who used to sleep on that bench, he said that he did not see any girl and he went back to his sleep.

I just sat near that bench with my hands over my head and my Adam’s apple was just blocking my throat and I just don't know how to react, I just prayed with my closed eyes to bring back Amy to me. Time just rolled on and it was 7:00 in the morning, I just don't want to drink coffee without Amy. When my brain almost stopped working, I saw the coffee wending man waving his hands at me, I rushed towards him with a hope that he is going to give me some information about Amy, he told me that the little girl with a shaven head came to his shop last evening and asked him to give this piece of letter to me, my hands started to shiver, the letter read ...

Uncle, Amy here, I am sorry I would not be able to come to the park tomorrow as I have promised my friend that I will help him in curing his blind mother, poor Sam has no one to take care of him or his mother, so I will have to go with him to the hospital and talk to the doctor and inquire how much it will cost to bring back the sight to Sam's mother, I don't know if I will ever get time to come back to the park, coz I know I have to work hard to earn that money, but I am sure I will meet you one day and I will get the gown from you, I am sure I can earn that extra money to pay you for that gown as well. Take care uncle.

I burst into tears and for the first time in my life I felt as if I have lost something which is very important in my life, Amy has taught me the lesson for life, we all think that our worries are the most deadliest in this world and hence we ignore to live for others, we become selfish and that selfish nature continues all thru our life. Years passed by and I did not miss even a day to visit the park, I used to carry that gown every day, but Amy never returned, but knowing Amy and her nature, whenever I see a blind girl on the street, my heart would skip a beat and that would remind me of Amy. Some people may come across our life for just a short span, but they will change our lives forever.



  1. Well written!!!
    Live for others??? too difficult ,isn't it??
    The self comes before everything for nearly everyone.It requires a lot and lot to live for others..a lot of maturity in fact!!!!!!!!

  2. After a long time, I am reading your blog. The article is so touching. Yeah, living for others would definitely bring in some joy within oneself.

  3. Well// we need few more Amys to whack the selfish arrogant brutes on their head and bring them around...

    nice read.. :-) brought a smile on my lips and a drop of saline in my eyes....

  4. gud, nice one mate!


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