Monday, May 30, 2005

The Red Rubber Ball

All of us want to be happy and nothing can be more gratifying than seeing the happy faces of your loved ones. There was this little boy, I guess, of primary-school-going age. He was with his father, younger sister and two maids. They had a bit of snack at the fast food restaurant I was in before leaving. I did not notice how much they ate, but I guess not much, as they were gone like the wind. While one of the maids was waiting with the boy at the table for their food, I noticed something about the boy. He seemed to have difficulty focusing on his surroundings, fidgeting on his seat and letting his eyes roamed around aimlessly. Maybe he is autistic, I thought. The name "Faith"* almost immediately came to my mind. He seemed unconnected with the real world, yet he was grinning at times. His father, appeared with their food; a patient-looking man with lot of loves. There was a peacefulness and calmness about him. I did not notice much more about the small group as I went back to my studies.

My attention was only drawn to them when later the father appeared again, this time, with one arm around the shoulders of the little boy. The boy was clearly happy - although he was not smiling- as he held a red rubber ball, the size of his head, with both his hands tightly against his chest. Without doubt, the ball was his new toy, an ordinary-looking one that you could easily find at any soon-to-be extinct provision shops, but he was satisfied and happy with what he had. Many people spend their lifetime trying to be happy with what they have. At least, the boy is happy, so is the father.

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