Helping others is not something I think of often, though I try to be kind on an every day basis. My mother’s way to being kind is to feed everything that crosses her path – ants with white rice powder in her kolam, birds with left over rice, stray dogs with bread and water, hungry people with left over meals. Sometimes she would prepare special meals for the people who worked for us, standing by as they ate, with a satisfied smile.
My Dad in his own gruff way, will send off an annual cheque to the Save the children fund.
To Ammu, spreading happiness is a core belief. Her cheerful greeting, the joyous smile just creates a ripple effect of happiness all along her path.”Why you also smile a lot!” says Ammu affectionately. I guess I do now. I seem to be walking around with a goofy smile all the time.
As we walk past a building, Ammu stops short, abruptly. We are facing a gateway where light pours through a beautiful, stained glass painting. She walks in like someone bewitched and knocks at the door. “Yes?” says a slip of a woman in jeans. “Who has done that? Ammu asks.
“Oh do you likeit?” says Shoba aunty (that was her name). She took us round to see the pavement. It was full of beautiful art made from things everyone throne away – thermacole, used net curtains, broken toilet listerns.
“Reduce, reuse, recycle” she says impishly. Ammu is thrilled and plans to meet Shoba aunty to spread to message of recycling on her street.
Chapter 3 – A Smile is the most important you wear