What to give as gift or aid is a serious concern
What to gift is a problem that bothered me for long years. On social occasions giving gift has become a businesslike activity. Fully managed procedures, not much of a bother and decision making involved. Sometimes though an occasion arises out of the blue when you won't know what to do. You know, whatever you give that creates a bit of joy and happiness will be a valuable gift from you, but what will it be!
How can the anguish be lessened
It was midday. Walking along the main road when I reached the first lane on the left, I had to stop and turn looking into the tree-lined wide lane. Further away, a small girl was crying hoarse in a shrill voice, as a middle aged woman was trying her best to slap hard the little wriggling body accompanied with her own high pitched scolding and abuse. A smaller boy stood nearby quite petrified.
Listening intently I could piece together the picture quickly. The woman belonged apparently to the class of millions of harried daily housemaids running around throughout the days and months to keep the tiny sinking boat afloat somehow. Her loud complaints could be heard clear enough.
The girl played pranks and neighbors complained. On top of it she never cared to look after her little brother providing a bit of a relief to the mother. Very recently the girl must have committed a specially severe mischief.
In a short while, the little girl managed to slip out of her mother's grasp and ran off further down the lane out of her reach. She stood wiping her eyes watching what her mother would do. The woman also had to stop pursuing her daughter as her next duty called her. Clasping the little boy she started towards the main road.
I didn't move and stood looking at her. She stopped near me and started to talk fast pouring out her sorrows to me. It was a mixture of excuses, grief, helplessness and intense unhappiness. I came to know of the pranks the little girl played attracting wrath of the neighbors. I consoled her and offered my advise as I could. I knew though it was futile just to give advise to affect the enveloping degraded situation of women like her in any positive way.
As the mother and son departed, my thought process quickened. Can I do anything to reduce at least the anguish of the little girl still some distance away wiping her tears! Soon she would also come this way and pass me.
How to make her happy? I thought on. Can I change her destiny for the better? Too complicated during this ordinary midday, I felt.
It must be something small with a tangible effect, and that too that something must be acquired in two to three minutes' time. Something that would put a smile on her face, even if briefly, a smile it should be.
I looked around and the humble little shop a few feet away held my attention.
Still smarting from her mother's beating, in halting steps when the child reached near, I asked in a soft voice, "Are you very naughty?"
Thus started a midday middle of the street chat between us that warmed up slowly. Now is the time, I thought. I extended my hand and opened my palm. Her eyes widened with surprise and stayed fixed for a few seconds on the clutch of chocolates nestled in my palm. Then she smiled.
We stayed together for some more time talking about mundane things and finally parted friends.
What to give as a gift or aid has always been a bit of a complicated problem for me. This time, I reflected on the way home, what else could I have given her?