I have very few soft spots. I’m generally calculative and cold and I use rationale to justify the things I do and they have to make sense at least in the little bubble that is my head. On occasion, however, I discover there are things I do that involve no logical explanation. I do crazy things often but they make sense to me. Like driving across the city like a mad girl for something that lasts 40 minutes or spending a weekend in Bangalore the day before one of my biggest exams. I know exactly why I do those things. But sometimes I do things and wonder what on earth possessed me to do it. And then I put them down as soft spots.
One of these soft spots is little kids selling jasmine flowers. I cannot say no to them. And I don’t understand why. It’s not the little kids so much as the slightly older ones. The ones that tell me that they can’t go home and study until they sell all their flowers.
I met one of these girls the other day. It was late in the evening, a rarely cool, pleasant one by Chennai standards. I was out at a store getting myself some stationery. I spent some ridiculous amount on paper and came out feeling insanely happy like I always do. There is something about paper, pens and lots of color that makes me feel like everything in this world is perfect, but I digress. I came out of the store and there was a little girl leaning against my car. She had five packets with her, all with strings of jasmine in them. She noticed me, straightened herself up and began the sales pitch. I was just getting into my car and I asked her how old she was and what she did. She, talkative child that she was, told me she was 14 in eighth grade, that she had homework for the next day and that she liked school. I told her she should be home studying. She said she’s go once she had sold everything. I looked at her again and on impulse, I bought all the flowers she had. She was delighted and for those moments, it was an incredible feeling.
Yes, it could have been part of her sales pitch, but if she was such a good little saleswoman, good for her.
No, I don’t know if she ever went home and studied or even if she really went to school.
Yes, if I really want to do something to help these kids I should probably do it in a more structured organized manner.
Yes, she was probably on the streets again the next day doing the same thing. Ignoring all of that, for those few moments, I felt crazy and I left rational thought behind.
Crazy is relative, of course.