With five minutes till the main gates close

The red signal stupefied my vehicle. I froze

On the spot. That’s it. I’m late. Oh, the woes

Of being tardy. Ah, these phases of morose.

I look around and notice nice, long rows

Of hanging Indian flags and Nehru’s photos.

It was Children’s Day, November 14th.

The day for people just like me.

A day for all who feel childish glee

At the sight of sweet sugared candy.

I was certain that tonight on TV,

I’d find the likes of Arnab Goswami

Riddling about what they think the country is to be

So that our freedom fighters can rest in peace.

As I was looking about and looking around

A little girl walked up to those around.

Her height was short and her face was round

But her winsome charm seemed profound.

For a girl with such inner beauty, her deed left me dumbfounded.

With a smile on her face, ear-to-ear

She approached each driver, there and here.

She wiped the dust off their vehicles with a mere

Little kerchief she had; she dusted both front and rear.

She was stopped by most as she did so;

The drivers told her to stop and just go.

She held up to them a meagrely filled bowl

Of coins. They gestured and nodded- they said no.

Not even for one person did she expose

The tiniest tad of pitiable sorrow.

She just went on to the next in the row

Of vehicles, to be treated to the same negligent show.

Then she came to me; it was my turn

To choose to be open and kind of taciturn.

She began dusting but I stopped her with a churn

Of feelings. I couldn’t see someone like her yearn

For a life that she fully deserves.

I had to do something to preserve

That lovely smile she boasts in the sun.

I wanted to be at least one

Of many who would soon help her overcome

The struggles she’s facing. I wanted them done.

She held up to me the same meagre bowl

And smiled to me- “Didi, kuch toh bhi dedo.”

I felt a crush within and tears almost flowed

From my eyes but her eyes still glowed

With beaming hope that I would differ from those

Who dismissed her with an insolent ‘no’.

I gathered myself and flashed a smile back.

I asked her to wait and she took a step back

As I reached into my bag and pulled out a stack

Of a couple extra sandwiches my mom had packed.

She laid her amber eyes on the sweet sight

Of those sandwiches packed one on another, nice and tight.

Seeing her joy, I held back tears with all my might

And handed the sandwiches to the girl with a smile so bright

That the sun, for a moment, lacked the light

To outshine the girl’s pure and innocent delight.

She almost jumped a bit before saying ‘Thank you, didi!’

She extended her hand which beckoned to me

To extend mine too. But for what? I didn’t see

Any reason for it. And then she wished me.

‘Heppy Childrin Day, Didi!’

And that was that. I wished her back.

She skipped along to the sidewalk’s path.

She sat down, tucked in and took a bite of the snack

That gave her the one thing she lacked-


The ultimate goal from a journey’s inception.

It isn’t an uncommon misconception

That it is enough to have a predilection

In order to succeed in one’s life.

Success is something that many strive

To achieve. They certainly have the drive

But they lack the means to contrive

A change in their own lives.

On Children’s Day, we should aim

To provide means to children so that they remain

With equal chance to ensure they gain

Every advantage to achieve their own aim.

The day we do this we will be so pleased

With the results that this transformation will yield.

And the day children’s suffering will cease

Is the day that Pandit Nehru will truly rest in peace.

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