Meeting Hope On The Road


Optimism, another name for hope may be. And Life finds strange and unusual ways to seep this faint light of hope into our lives now and then. It was this morning that I was feeling a bit low and just couldn’t put the finger on the reason that made me feel so. Past and Future took turns to visit my mind and I could feel a storm building that would destroy my peace.The Past that was no-so-perfect flashed scenes of pain and despair, on the other hand, Future disturbed the remaining tranquility of my mind with its sheer uncertainty.

More than the music that I wanted to hear, it were the advertisements that kept playing in the backdrop on the tuned FM station. Unlike daily, I made no attempt to search for a channel that played music instead. I just kept staring outside the window of my car. Nothing interesting there either. Same roads. Same traffic. Same stopping at traffic signals for a few minute then moving ahead. Gaining speed sometimes and sometimes it felt as if I could walk faster than the stagnant traffic.

When I was still busy sorting out my thoughts, the car came to sudden halt. I took no notice as it was the usual traffic. I kept staring blankly outside the window. This wasn’t the same route we used to follow every day, I observed. There must have been some diversion, I thought to myself. I busied myself playing the game on my phone, ignoring the messages that were waiting to be read and replied. I just didn’t feel like talking to anyone right now, and no message qualified under ‘Urgent’, so I dismissed all the notifications. I had just started the game when someone knocked on the window pane. Startled I looked up.

“Madam? Tea?” It was a tea vendor selling tea to people whose cars stopped by at this signal.
Uninterested I shook my head in negative. He insisted but I denied again. Though disappointed he might be but it didn’t show on his face. He moved to his next potential customer. Smile never left his face, Intrigued, I turned my attention from my handheld device to this tea vendor. A minute or two later, he was moving back to his stall with empty tea-glass rack in his hand. As the car slowly inched forward a few meters, I could clearly see his stall. It was not more than a small shack, but it seemed well managed. His hands moved fast as he poured tea to another set of those eco-friendly mud glasses. He then placed those glasses in the rack to be picked up in one hand and in the other hand he picked up the small packs of snacks that her wife was packing, trying to match his speed. By the look of it, anyone could tell that the couple was hardworking and the eatables were delicious.

A thought of pity crossed my mind, just like it would have struck anyone. But soon next, Life taught me a lesson. The next sight changed my perception. As the car moved further, I saw a boy in school uniform sitting near the women who was busy packing the fresh snacks. What I could make out from the scene was that the boy wanted to help his parents in any way he could but he was getting scolded by his mother again and again. It was clear that they both wanted him to concentrate on his studies. A few moments later I saw another boy, probably the boy’s friend or classmate, coming over to the stall and then they both walked away with the school bag on their shoulders.

As I looked closely, I observed that the boy went off to school, there was a smile of contentment on the face of his parents. I could see the satisfaction of educating their child. There was hope in their eyes that this boy will one day turn their fate around. They could have chosen the easier path by letting him help but then he would have stuck with this for the rest of his life. But they chose to do without another pair of helping hands, the support of those hands would be more helpful in future than it would have now.

This mere sight brought smile to my face, as hope quietly seeped in my heart washing away all thoughts of uncertainty. A faith was rebuilt in my heart that no matter what , if I have hope I can have anything.

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