Living in India means that you often encounter street children begging on the streets or living on the roadside.
We talk about their plight and their life. Some beg,some sell pens or flowers, some play with siblings or carry the babies. Some of us develop relationships with these children and give them support whether it is in the form of old clothes or biscuits or even a bottle of clean water. Others find the experience too much and wind the windows up or simply ignore them. However we deal with them the reality is that rarely do you see sad faces.
Today however I saw a different one
A little girl, pigtailed, in shorts and a shirt which were grey and grubby, barefoot, walking on the inside of a double carriage way. On the side of the oncoming traffic.This is dangerous but not unusual nor unexpected. Only minutes before I had seen a little child barely of walking age crossing this road by himself.
Her head was ever so slightly looking down and she was sucking her thumb. I dont know why I felt that child's sheer vulnerability through that small gesture but I did. There was something so unbelievably poignant about her need to be comforted and her ability to find this sucking her thumb.