“Please, buy one of these…!..”, said the little girl, standing besides our car. She was trying to sell us small buckets and other decorations made of straw.
Head-covered with a white scarf, dressed in white, she wore one of the most innocent and cute faces. The sweetheart was unlike other such kids, who would go along the cars and people, asking for aid, never to get-off; sometimes, even get scolded at.
She was tidy and graceful.
It was a sunny winter morning. Tariq, Zafar and I were at Commercial Market, Rawalpindi for a breakfast. This girl had straight come to our car when we parked. We looked at her straw-buckets, and intended to help her. She dropped the idea, and asked us to buy the stuff, which we did not plan to. The discussion went on and on, in that we interviewed her in detail. She told us she went to school, and that she played with dolls, and that she had to sell the buckets as it was her family’s lifeline. We wished to help. She stuck to selling the buckets. We continued to offer help and invited her to halwa-poori too. She declined and repeatedly asked us to buy. In the end, she turned away, and we went into the restaurant.
After having the breakfast, as we buckled-up to drive out, she was there, again…..with the straw-buckets. “What a persistent cutie!”, we discussed.
Before reversing the car, Tariq tried to hand over a fifty rupees’ note to her, “Please take it, dear”
Now, as we knew that she will not take it this way, we decided to go for Plan B.
After reversing the car, we lowered the window, quickly dropped the fifty-rupee note into her bucket, and drove out with a quick remark for her, “ye aik choti behen kay liye hai, bhaiyoun ki taraf se…”
She ran and followed our car quite speedily. After some fifty-feet, we stopped. She came over the window, and knocked. Upon lowering the window, she threw some buckets in the car, and ran away, with a priceless remark:
“ye bhaiyoun kay liye hai, aik choti behen ki taraf se…”