Reservation

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First world problems.

She inched her way slowly towards the kids and sat down in the hallway. She volunteered  in a shelter home and she taught English to those 11 year olds. They sensed her sullen expression, and asked her what happened.

She was, of course, feeling distressed that she had broken her iPhone. Not for the first time or the second time, but for the third time in the same month. But spending time with the kids always made her feel elated. She pushed her despondent thoughts away and joked about always being a “butterfingers”, and the kids laughed with her.

Later, when she was finished for the day, she stared at her phone for a few moments with a sullen look, wondering if she could afford fixing it again. Suddenly, she felt a tap on her shoulder. It was the little 11 year old guy, Praveen. He edged closer to her and uttered , “Don’t worry akka. Just wait until I start earning. I’ve always wanted a phone, but I’ll get you a phone before I get one ! Smile now. I don’t like your sad face.”

It hit her then. We worry about choosing what phone to buy; they can’t even afford to look at one. We worry about travelling by car or by bus; they go barefoot, even without footwear. We worry about what birthday gift to buy; they don’t even know when they were born. We worry about a quarrel with mom; their only mother is Mother Nature. But inspite of it all, they seem happier.

That’s the irony.