I still remember that evening, when the weather outside was soothing and calm with a few clouds hovering. And I had to do something to get rid of the usual stress of my life. Th office work, family problems, social problems etc. I was about to quit on happy life. All hopes were lost and I lived a miserable life.
As soon as I reached at the corner of the park, I saw a little girl of about 8-10 years, sitting alone on the merry-go-round. I wondered why she sat there alone with no one around. I took a few steps ahead and made a gesture to say “hello” to her. She smiled back and her face glowed. I went nearer and stood exactly in front of her. “Hello! What’s your name? Why are you sitting alone here?”, I asked. “Hi! My name is Cathy, and I come here everyday because I like animals a lot and I love this place”, she replied. Her eyes were sparkling and there was something strange in it, a mystery I could not make out.
“Oh, so you like animals”, I said and smiled. “Yes, because they live a happy and carefree life. They do not have to live for others and they always live together no matter what.” I was daunted and taken aback by her sentences. How can a girl of this age, think like this? Was she depressed? Was there a problem in her life? Was she alone? There were many questions at that moment of time which I had to ask, but I could not. I just said, “Why do you say that? We all live a happy and carefree life.” I said that but just then I realized that I did not mean it. I myself was leading a miserable life.
“But these animals, they are loyal, they will always be with you and never leave you.” She said and looked down. I could see tears in her eyes. Now, my heart sank in. She was too small to talk this. There must be surely something in her life which is making her such a paranoid, I thought. I put my hand on her shoulder, adorably, and asked her, “What happened dear? Is something wrong? Where are your parents? Did you come alone?” And then, her reply made me sob too. I felt extremely sympathetic towards her. And she began…
“A year ago, I had a family, a happy family. My mom, my dad and me. Everything was perfect. We even went on road trips every weekend. But then, mom and dad started arguing everyday, every moment. They kept fighting for the whole day without even thinking about me. And finally they decided to get separate and so they did. Both of them have their own jobs and work to do so they sent me to an orphanage. And since then, I live alone. I want to live with them, but perhaps they can’t keep me I think. My mom became a prey of hyper-tension and is very weak now. I wish I had a family, a happy family who would have had time for me.”
She broke into tears. “So, do you come here alone everyday?” I questioned. “Yes, I like to sit here with my friends. Look, these are my friends.” She said and pointed out to the artificial animals there. “Do you miss them? Do you want to go back to them?” I asked and felt foolish of myself. Ofcourse she missed her parents. It was pretty obvious. But she replied strongly, “I missed them a lot, but now I don’t think I want to go back again. They left me here, so there must be a motive behind it. My mom loves me a lot and I know that. So what if she cannot take care of me? I will be strong if she cannot and stay here.” “You are a brave girl” I said in appreciation. “Thank you. And you know what, one day I will become a very successful person and show my parents that I still love them, no matter what.”
Tears rolled down my cheeks. I could not resist. I found an inner peace after listening to her. I started thinking in the other way round. If I quit on my life, few years from now, my son will say the same to a stranger. I don’t want him to have this life. I don’t want her to have this life either. But I can’t help, I suppose. I stood there totally numb. A sense of responsibility struck me. My entire existence questioned me, mocked at me. I did not give time to my family. I could not make them happy, ever. How can I do this to the people around me? I started pondering. That girl made me realize that my behaviour affected every person around me to a very great extent. I realized how hard it would be to live without your own ones.
“Yes, you surely would.” I said encouraging her. I took a few steps back and walked away taking a small conversation, but a huge realization in me. I appreciated her courage and decided to change myself. To fight, to be happy, to make happy and to move on. After all life is all about the happiness you spread. The fifteen minutes conversation, changed my world. And that ten year girl, changed my life.