Friday, 22 May 2009

The impact of passing a smile

I had to go to the police station today to get some documents attested. There was a lady constable on duty and she did not utter a word or pass a smile during the entire process of my asking her to attest my documents. I was so tempted to ask her if her facial muscles were paralyzed or did she simply like being repulsive by virtue of her facial expressions? Since I do not share a very high opinion of coppers down here or in India(yeah they are the same!!!) I chose not to waste my energy or words with the robot I was dealing with. Later on as I was listening to music on my ipod, I was looking at the faces of people traveling on the local train. Each one seemed to be carrying a burden on their shoulders. It suddenly struck me as odd that a stuck up expression is what we offer to each other instead of a smile. There are various reasons for it, sometimes, most Indian men think you are interested in them and if God forbid you accidentally smile, they refuse to take their eyes off you. What about others? What about ladies, girls? I was just thinking these thoughts when a lady with a baby stepped in at Clifton Hill followed by an elderly lady. They were obviously not related and came and sat in the same row of seats as me. Suddenly, the baby smiled at me, I smiled back, happy to know that there is at least one soul who smiles for the joy of smiling and bearing this in mind turned my face away. No sooner had I done that, the elderly lady's eyes caught mine and she broke into a broad smile too. Wow! I thought to myself, is it only these extremes of age when one can see a fellow human with gentleness and warmth? Maybe yes and maybe not. I am certainly not one of the either but I know what the powerful impact of passing a smile can have on someone who has had a terrible day or is damn lonely and no, I will not get dissuaded in passing a smile on to the next tired face I see regardless of how they respond :)

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