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Little Indian Girl

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I see her. Our eyes connect, and it’s as if she has shot a beam of intense emotions in through my eyes, passing through my brain and darting downwards into the depths of my heart. I break the eye contact as the rest of her body distracts me. I cannot help myself from staring. She has on ripped pants, which appear to once have been used as a burlap sack for grain. Brownish and grayish smudges cover the light-brown, thin fabric. Her shirt is a cotton T-shirt, which is so ragged and ripped, it appeared as if she had simply thrown a bed sheet over herself. Her hair is one large knot, with small brown pieces of earth protruding out from the depths of her unkempt dreadlock. Her face is thin, with a thin coat of dirt covering her coffee-colored skin.

What is your name? Who are you? How’d you end up so unlucky? The questions are unending as they rattle my brain and heart alike. How old are you? She looks like she could be no older than my thirteen years. Why aren’t you in school? Why isn’t she getting the right that belongs to every child who lives in my country? Where is your mother? I cannot possibly fathom the difficulty and pain of my life without a mother to sit by you when you’re sick and lightly stroke your sweaty head and feed you applesauce from your favorite spoon. Where is your father? It would be as equally troubling to not have your father to encourage you to not drop your tough math class and to pull your head from underneath you when your esteem takes a fall. And where is your home? I have no idea what it would be like to not have the safety and comfort of a warm and welcoming domicile to rest in, enjoy in, give and receive love in, eat warm dinners in, or sleep in.

Little Indian Girl, I want to help you. And I want to help you for two reasons. The first reason is selfish, however I do believe the second is merely altruistic. I feel guilty. I have the luck, family, wealth, freedom health and power to travel on a jumbo jet half way across the world simply out of pleasure’s sake. I have stayed at nice hotels, purchased expensive meals, and enjoyed myself. I have had an amazing trip filled with sensory pleasure and of great education. However it is difficult to enjoy these treasures I have been blessed to have had and experienced, when I see what others like yourself are experiencing. I don’t want you to stay where you are because with you consciously in my mind, I will have trouble living life on a completely positive note and I will have trouble tolerating my existence. Additionally, I know it is right to help. It is engrained in my brain to help and thus I do. I will help you.

Sadly though, I come to the realistic side. I will not make an impact on your life. You will be curled up on this street corner, with dirty sewer water runoff streaming by your feet tomorrow, as well as the day after tomorrow, as well as next week, next month and all of next year. What can I possibly do? You were born you—a poor orphan Indian street girl—and I was born I—a middleclass American child with loving parents who spoil him with exotic travel. I want you to soak up the same wonders of this lovely place, which I have been leisurely bathing in over the past weeks. I don’t know what to do. All I can do is pray that somehow you will make it out of your situation, hope that life will treat you kinder. If it is any consolation to me, or your view of me, I think about you, Little Indian Girl. You occupy a large portion of the compassionate section of my heart. I will never see you again, so I say have a blessed day, and a blessed life.

I drop a fifty-rupee note in her small, wrinkled Dixie cup. Holding my mother’s hand, looking directly forward, I continue towards a café for some chai tea.





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