It was just another ordinary busy day until I met that boy in a public bus. No. He was not my fellow passenger. He was, what we call, a street child. A barely 8-10 years old kid with a torn T-shirt at places. These wretched kids are seen almost everywhere in Dhaka city but what was special about that particular boy was his face. There was 'something' in him that caught my attention. An angelic baby face with little care.
Anyway. He entered straight into the bus as it was stuck in Gulshan avenue signal. The bus helper yelled at him in the first place but the boy remained silent and started distributing a piece of paper to all the passengers. What was written in the paper was, in brief, his father died a couple of years ago. His mother works at houses. He needs money to help his family, so buy chocolates from him.
Now this is nothing new to people who use public bus regularly and I am no different. I had my earphones on. When he came to me to get the paper back, I casually gave him a note of Rs. 20. Thankfully it managed to bring some smile in his face. He was about to give me 10 chocolates in return of the money I gave him.
"I don't like chocolate, brother. No need of chocolates. You can have the money," I said.
All of a sudden smile on his face disappeared and turned into a rude face.
"I'm not a beggar. Please take the chocolates or take your money back."
His bold straight answer astonished me. I have given money to many kids before, without taking their chocolates instead. I realized his angelic baby face is not the only thing special about him.
Now some guys might raise their fingers at me and question me that this is a very mere incident, so what's the point of writing a note based on this. But ask yourself guys. He is just 8-10 years old and already he knows what is life. He knows the difference between 'begging' and 'earning' and obviously he chose what's GOOD.
Now we have some lessons to learn from him. We all know what's good and what's bad. Unlike that kid, we always go to the bad way. We write, talk, appreciate other's honesty and integrity but when it comes to sacrificing something for something good, we back down. We curse corrupt people but when we get such opportunity, we get involved into corruption ourselves. Money? Let it come whatever way, it may come!
Well, I had to take the chocolates and came back home with my pocket full of them! And may be that sparkling boy with a sparkling face went home with a smile on his face. My question is how long this smile will last? I fear he will end up being a bus driver, helper or something like that, cause that's the way our society is. So harsh and rough. Poverty doesn't help as well. Will he be able to break the shackle? Nobody will be happier than me if he does. But unfortunately poverty, the great force, always win against these little sparks...