If you ask me to name a moment that changed my life, like everyone else, I will instinctively think about all the happier memories we have made down the lane. However, it is rarely so that a pre-planned happy moment, like a vacation or a new job, can impact our life deeply. The turning point in one’s life has to be one of those unexpected moments that create ripples on our surface and jolt us into a better version of ourselves.
It was a humid autumn afternoon about two years ago. The frown on my forehead arising from the long wait for the friend to embark on a festive shopping spree was gradually turning into utter disdain. The list of unnecessary stuff to splurge on was ready in my mind.
I turned my head with a half-eaten chocolate in my hand, and there they were. Two unclad examples of incredible India, innocence in a duel with hardship uncalled for, fighting over a few ripe-beyond-edible grapes. A little sibling duo. I saw the smiles on their faces, at the start of a giggling fight; which slowly faded into a primitive crude struggle for existence.
I was shaken. Something deep down inside me was aching, I have never before felt so overwhelmed and helpless at the same moment. I have seen children on street before, but this somehow etched me soul-deep. I couldn’t take another bite. I had a spare new pack of chocolate in my bag, I could have, I should have given it to the children, but I couldn’t move one step. I stood transfixed for a minute of my life that would redefine my whole existence and purpose.
Later, I have taken measures to do my bit for the little princes and princesses who crave for a plate of hot food more than a magical castle or unicorns. The spontaneous, purest smiles returned to me when I hand over a box of sweets or a sparkling shiny new dress, I won’t lie, have truly made me feel like a fairy godmother at times. We have co-founded an NGO where youth like me now works tirelessly across districts trying to reach out to the unheard and unattended, as far as possible.
It was one moment; a single moment was all it took.