A Contented Mind

"When will the bus arrive?" I asked the old man standing next to me. I was travelling back to my place after visiting my native village. There were limited bus facilities and unlimited crowd waiting for the bus. It was afternoon and the sun was at its full height.

How do these people do this everyday? I silently admire them. There are no luxuries in the village but still everybody seem contented. Strange, isn't it? I for one can always remember wanting one after another in my life, a good salary, nice job profile, a computer, a scooty, a new dress... I'm seldom contented. Maybe it requires a different level of maturity. Their ungrudging happiness and fulfillment is beyond my understanding.

"Here comes the bus", the old man next to me interrupted my train of thoughts. I run forward to secure a place to stand. The bus was full to its limit - surprisingly not only with people. I could see chicken, goats and a lot of vegetable sacks all going to some town just like me. I was ushered in, a little graciously since people recognize that I did not belong to the village.

A family of three adjusted so that I can sit along with them. Wow! What are looked at as inconveniences at the modern town are read as a helpful gestures here. The journey was an hour long. I looked around to pass the time. There was a little girl sitting next to me talking animatedly to her mother about her friend. She must be around six or seven years old, I assume. Suddenly she turned to my side and gave me a wide grin.

"Your bangles are nice. Will you give me these?" I engage her in conversation.
She nodded her head in the negative. I expected this. I wonder how these kids learn the word 'no'. Maybe it is the most used word in a household. Anyways, all kids are possessive of their belongings.

Before I could persuade her, the girl simply said, "Do you know why you can't have this? Because they are too small for you. You need a bigger size. I have some bigger ones at home. I will give you those."

If I say, I was dumbstruck, it would be a gross understatement. The child looked very vulnerable and came from a very ordinary family. Her parents looked as if they worked for daily wages. Yet they taught their little daughter the importance of being contented. The little girl had all the innocence that came with a village territory- the charm, the non-stop talk, the bright colored dress with mismatched bright ribbons. Beneath all that was a heart of gold. Learning to be selfless is an art even most elders do not manage to foster. The girl did not even know me. Still she was ready to give up what little she had. I learnt a very important lesson that day. Contentment and happiness go hand in hand. The girl believed that she had everything she needed. That was why she was open to sharing whatever she had. I made up my mind. I'm blessed with so many things. In the hurry to go forward, I'm forgetting to enjoy the moment that unforgivingly passes by. I learnt to be contented. I learnt to be happy.

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