I saw the most beautiful child today. I was driving, and passed by the slum that lies on my regular route. This child was about five years old, traces of mud on her face. Dry, brown locks of hair, fell carelessly over her face. And through the dirt I saw her eyes. Shining. She walked with an air of owning the world, that was only endearing, to say the least. A little child with so much presence. In retrospect, I shouldn't find it so surprising. She was surrounded by people who laughed with her. Who shared the same confidence. The same air of contentment. Or did they? They teased each other and played around. Whenever I pass by them, there's always some gathering that is laughing about something, so preoccupied with each other's lives they are. Not once have I seen just a family by themselves. They're always together. Little ones sitting together, oiling and combing each other's hair. Women carrying buckets across the road that divided their housing. Men. Engaged in conversation. Laughing, chatting. And festivals, they bring on another different level of merrymaking in their lives.
Atleast thats how it seems from where I see them. What thoughts went behind these faces bronzed by the sun, I wonder. Was it the same everywhere? Is it like we see in the movies, where behind closed doors unfold another story of abuse or grief or the unshared burden of responsibility? Lines of worry covered by this bronzed contentment? I hope not. For faces that seem to glow with an inexplicable satisfaction, I sincerely hope not.
What would they answer if I asked them if they were happy?
What would you?