The boy who smiled when the garbage truck passed.

Kamustha Folks!

Creativity was indeed playing a game of hide and seek with me. After weeks of trying to jot down a successful poem, inspiration finally gave up the game. So today while I was trying to occupy enough space in the public bus with people pushing and pulling, I finally found the perfect story!



As the truck passed so did the smell of smoke

until all that was left in the air

was the smell of garbage.

The woman sitting beside,

covered her nose.

The man sitting behind

shouted out curses.

My friend standing with me

made funny faces.

But the little boy sitting on the floor

of this crowded bus broke into a smile.

We looked at him

with large eyes;

extending our shock.

He looked at us and smiled yet again

“Woh mera papa hain”.

(That is my father)

With life lost on us

and our constant wish to meddle in it

we asked him



“Jo woh truck chala rahe hain”

(the one driving that truck)

he said, showing his yellow teeth

and an innocent smile

with his finger pointing at the garbage truck.

The woman looked at him,

gave him a 10Rs note and left.

The man gave him a new pen and left.

My friend gave him a new notebook and left.

Everyone stepped off the bus

until mine and his stop was the only place left.

He looked at me,

his face portraying an unreadable expression

and asked:

“Didi, yeh log muche ithne sare gifts kyun de rahe hain?”

(Sister, why are these people giving me gifts?)

I looked at him,

now realizing the expression on his face;

it was of innocence and hope.

I ruffled his hair and replied,

“Kyunki aapke papa ke wajeh se hi India saaf raheta hain”

(Its because of your father that India continues to remain clean)

The bus stopped at my stop and I stepped out

and as I looked back at that little kid,

he was smiling

with his eyes filled with pride

and I secretly prayed

“Oh please don’t let him change”.

I left.



Picture credits :



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