Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Little friend

She must have been about 6. Some days when her school would have a holiday she would come with her mum. Her bright eyes and shy demeanour reminded me of a tiny sparrow as she sat in the corner of the kitchen following her mum with her eyes as she swept and mopped. 

Try as I might, I could never draw her out. She'd watch the kids sprawled around reading, colouring or simply bickering. But she'd never try to get friendly, always remaining aloof, seeming way older than her years. She'd look away quickly when she'd see me watching.

Often I wanted to tell her, 'It's okay.. take a look, join them...." but something held me back. Would she become too familiar, cheeky over time? Would it sound patronising of me?  And so I kept quiet and let her be.

One day her mum told me, "Didi can you get a warm jacket for my daughter? It's her birthday next week and I don't know where to find one." She came that day dressed in her prettiest frock. After she'd tried out the jacket I handed her another packet... She tore open the cover and as a bunch of books tumbled out, for the first time acting her age, she whooped for joy. Her mum looked on startled at her reaction.

But not me, I knew. Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. A book lover myself how could I not see her love for them?

Yes, I'd seen those curious interested looks she sneaked at the kids' books. And that day I'd found her reading 'Stories from Panchatantra'. So engrossed was she in putting the letters together that she didn't hear me enter. When she did, she dropped the book with a startled, guilty look and vanished back to her post at the kitchen. 

Yes I saw all of that and I knew..

Happy reading little friend!

Linking to Write Tribe's Wednesday prompt 'Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye'. The prompt is given by our very own  Kajal Kapur.


  1. Birds of of a "cover" can recognize each other eh :-)


  2. Aww!! That's so heartwarming and sweet!!
    Lovely take on the prompt.

  3. yes ... you have to be a lover to spot one ...

  4. Nice take on the prompt and a sweet story. Sometimes those closest to us are unable to see. Lucky didi was around.

  5. Such a heartwarming one.... it's always a pleasant feeling when you spot a fellow book lover, and esp when we can gift them this special love. Waiting for my niece to learn her alphabets so I can gift her tons of books ... :)

  6. This was such a happy story! How intuitive for her to recognize exactly what she would be thrilled to have...books! I simply loved this story. ♥

  7. Lovely take on the prompt Tulika and the photo goes very well with the sweet story.

  8. I had tears i my eyes, Tulika. There are so many intelligent kids who lack the means and, thank God, for well meaning souls who can notice what the children want. I respect the souls who knew what's inside the heart of these children. Simply brilliant:) That's the best thing about these prompts, we can convey a message to make a difference to lives.

  9. This was a very touching take, Tulika. What was particularly nice was the interpretation of the child's love and satisfying it. Inspiring...


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