“Madam ji, last box, best box.. le lo..”
The little girl with the tinkle in her eyes, and a box of bright blue glass bangles in her hand, touched my elbow while I was looking at some kurtas in a stall. It was the annual diwali fete at Delhi Public School, Noida. My brother, who is a student there, sold me 5 tickets. So I thought of atleast using one out of them, and headed in the hullabaloo.
“What’s your name?” And the bright smile wrinkled a bit.
“Pia… My name is Pia”…
She didnt look like a typical bangle seller, with her neat clothes, and good vocabulary apt for her age. She was 7 year old, as she told me. I was very tired after checking all the stalls, and I had to wait for my brother who was DJ at the disco set up.
“Pia, show me the bangles, I have to check the size. Would you like to come over to the bench, I would like to sit for a while”
“No problem madam ji…”
That was the first time I met Pia. I bought those bangles, they fit me perfectly well – size 2.6. Blue being my favorite color, those bangles had instantly caught my eye. I gave her the 50 rupee note, and she smiled at me. The same bright smile.
Pia, as I had guessed, was not a bangle seller. She was a resident for Noida Orphanage. The children from the orphanage came to the fete to set up a stall. And they sold all kind of stuff, as per the wish of the kid. Pia loves bangles. The music of tingling and jingling colorful glass bangles makes her dance with glee. I met the caretaker of the orphanage, Mrs Anand, who was there with the children, sharing their joy and excitement. I asked her about the utilization of the money they would make at the stall. She told me that the administration had spent money to buy all the stuff the kids were selling. And they were there to have fun, and make the kids happy. They were not making any money. Whatever the children would earn, they were allowed to spend it all in the next two hours at the fete. I was impressed. I could see Pia licking a lolly far away from the stall. I waved her bye, and she waved me back, and blew a kiss. My day was made.
I started visiting the orphanage, once in a while, whenever I could find time from work and family. It was a modest set up. I donated some books, and asked my friends to give old books if they had any. Noida Orphanage soon had a small library. I used to read stories to the kids, or help them with their homework. All the kids were enrolled in a nearby government school, thanks to the school principal, Mr Thakur, who was an old friend of Mrs Anand.
I started getting attached to Pia, and used to be particularly interested in her school grades. She used to do good, but not excellent. She was addicted to listening to Radio, and could not focus on her subjects.
One day, Mrs Anand called me up, and said that she wanted to meet me away from the orphanage. I called her home, as my home was a mere 200 meters away. After a cup of coffee, and making her comfortable, I gently asked her whether there was some special purpose of her visit. Mrs Anand asked me whether I would like to be Pia’s god mother. A smile as bright as sunlight spread across my lips. I agreed. This meant taking care of Pia’s all needs – like a family member. Now, apart from Pia’s grades I started looking for hobby classes for her. I got her enrolled in a dance and music class. And whoa… Pia had a inborn flare for music.
She learned the notes in amazingly short time, and started playing the harmonium. She also started taking classes for Kathak.
Today, I can proudly say, that Pia, the little girl with the tinkling smile, is spreading the tingling of her bangles across the world, as she performs Kathak, and sings brilliant self-composed songs on international platforms. She is a part of the Young Musicians Society of India, who collaborate with World music societies and exchange the music and dance culture across the world.
I am so glad, I bought those blue bangles.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda
All characters are fictitious.