But there always has to be trouble in paradise.
Just when I thought I could be cooped up all day with nothing to do, the phone buzzed and there was an assignment I had to cover. When ready, I decided to hail a cab, but after three futile attempts, I crossed the road and waited under the shade for some divine intervention to save the day.
Walking in the rain like a wet bird, scowling at all the cars pass by, I didn’t make a pretty picture. From round the corner came a middle-aged lady with a bright pink umbrella. She seemed to be humming a tune and came straight into me, so I jumped out of her way to splash into the biggest puddle that there was on that footpath.
Pink umbrella stood for a moment, smiled and carried on as if it was routine. I moved back to the pavement and tried hailing another cab. While, I stood there staring at the traffic-clogged road, I suddenly saw pink umbrella next to me. Not particularly in the mood for a chat I looked away. She tapped me on my shoulder.
“You don’t look too pleased,” she said.
“Oh yeah. you know my prince charming is on his way to pick me up,” I blurted, “Only problem is he’s lost his way and is too stubborn to ask for directions so I’m forced to take a cab!”
She laughed out loud. “That seems a good enough reason to be happy.” I looked away losing patience and clinging onto the last bit of sanity that was fading.
“I’ll tell you a story,” she said.
Standing in the middle of nowhere hailing all those blind cabs I thought I had lost it all. Who would want to listen to fairytales at such a time?
“Years ago when I was a young woman , I was in HR and that’s not a very nice position to be in. You are the first to be cursed when someone is fired.” “Yes. I know,” I added, sympathetically.
“Every time I kicked someone out of the door, I would ask him or her - what would you do if you are fired and get home to find your house on fire?”
“Oh no, poor house. Now that didn’t deserve to be fired, too!” I exclaimed.
“That was my way to gauge people’s reactions. The lazy ones would claim insurance they said and the smart ones would chose alternate roads to a better future.”
Once a man replied, “I’ll write a country song about my life and learn to play the guitar. I’ll be a millionaire overnight! This is true he has made it big in Bollywood!” she smiled. Now, I was smiling. Pink umbrella took out her notebook, while I contemplated what to do.
“See, every time I make someone smile I draw a smiley,” she said adding a big curve on the circle. I saw that her notebook was full of them! “I have another three more to draw before this month ends,” she added, sheepishly.
Just in time I caught a cab and as soon as I reached my destination, I saw a lady struggling to open a wheelchair for her daughter, while the girl sat sullenly carrying a doll. It looked like the girl was unhappy with it.
For a moment I hesitated, took a step forward, “That’s a beautiful doll you have,” I remarked, helping her mom place her on the wheelchair, “I wish I could buy one like that,” I sighed. The mother looked relieved while the girl stared at me for a moment.
“Do you really think she’s nice?” She asked not believing me.
“I think she’s lovely, just like you,” I said. The girl looked at her mother and they both smiled. “Thank you mommy, you were right,” she said happily. I waved at the duo as they wheeled out of sight. Then, I took out my notebook and drew two smileys. !!!!!