As the Whitney Houston song goes…
“I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be”
Ever since the trip to India, whenever I hear this song my mind is full of those faces of children and their smiles that seemed to fill the air with the simplest happiness.
Knowing some Indian friends personally, I could never have had imagined the India I saw last year when I visited the country for the first time. What caught me was not whether those people were wealthy or poor; polite or rude; educated or not; not any of those judegements, but their smiles that made my heart warm.
I am lucky enough to have grown up in such a prosperous (and materialistic) city, but sorry to see how many of our new generations are so badly spoilt not only by their very own parents, but also our society that is swept by the Apple gadgets. In the India I saw, children were put into different “occupations”. Some of them busy making money by all sorts of means; some of them taking care of a younger child while they themselves were just a bit older than toddlers; some of them eagerly hoping to take photos with tourists so they could get some money in return; but there were a few kids in particular who are still deep in my memory.
I was on a coach after visiting this place in Jaipur. Next to me was another coach with so many students in there, all looking at my coach like they were so curious to know how these “aliens” looked. I caught sight of them, and they noticed that I was looking at them. Many of them started waving to me, smiling, asking if they could take a picture of me. They were so excited, I was getting a bit shy but that made me smile. So after a few minutes of waving and excited smiles, I finally agreed to let them take a picture of me, but that was not the end. They remained very interested and kept saying “hello” to me, until finally one of our coaches began to move away.
Maybe that was a short and brief moment, but that went quite deeply into my memory. Throughout the trip I saw it a few times that their children would get really excited to see foreigners; some would even ask for a photograph (not for money this time). Quite often they would look quite happy and wear a big smile after taking such a photo, as if they had just taken a picture with some Hollywood star. That’s the way it was there. I cannot describe in words how I felt that moment when I saw that joyful smile of the boy on the next coach, all I can say is, he looked so sweet and happy.
And if you’re wondering how that lovely kid looks, there…him from his window.
As the song goes again…“let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be”.Published in