People watching…14th July 2016
Yesterday, I was on the metro. It was crowded but at least it was not crowding like during the rush hour. I was not in a hurry to get home, but nevertheless, I was impatient and anxious, as people usually are while riding the subway.
I saw a little boy riding the metro with his family. He was in for the rough and ready ride, at least for a little boy, and he looked no more than two. He grabbed the bar firmly with both his hands and all his might, each barely large enough to wrap around the circumference of the shiny metal bar. One little hand on top and one little hand below, his soft thumbs had already turned white pressing hard on the metal. His mother had a mother-sized suitcase while his father, a super-father-sized suitcase twice his height. His brother and his sister were chatting. His family towered over him like giants, but appeared exhausted from the heat and possibly the travelling around town.
As soon as the car started to move, he parted his legs and stood firmly with his feet apart to counteract the full force of the forward momentum. I looked at him and he inched up his hand the smallest bit by the smallest bit to make room for me to hold the bar like him and gave me the approving nod. He really meant it, solemnly serious as if terrible things would soon happen if I did not do what he did. So I took his advice and his offer to share the bar already loaded with many different hands of the other passengers though no words were exchanged. I did not think he was old enough to have started talking yet. I bent down to reach the space he vacated for me and positioned my thumb and my index finger in between his two hands to hold the bar as he had wanted. This pint-sized knight might have thought even a lady many times bigger needed his assistance. What a chivalrous little fellow!
In the midst of all this danger, he held his breath and when the car stopped, he let out a quick sigh. He then released his chubby little index finger with the clearest little fingernail on it, bending and relaxing it to reach up the bar. He let his hand climb up the bar in this manner without letting go of it. Finally, that chubby little finger made its way up, gradually approaching mine. And it was very plain and straightforward now, all that hard work and patience was to touch the sparkling pink diamond on the ring that I was wearing on my index finger positioned horizontally on the bar. The diamond on it was more or less the same size as his little fingernail. His gaze moved from side to side as he compared the two, and then he smiled to himself. Then he looked up, fluttered his eyelashes and smiled at me with eyes that sparkled, his upper lip tipped over his lower lip. His whole face lit up as he nodded to me, giving me the approving look. And all this while, neither did he let go of the bar or his steady stance for a mere second.
The doors closed and the warning sounded off. The car started to move and the serious look on his face reappeared with a knot in between his eyes on his forehead. He had decided not to lose his balance at the beginning of the journey, and he was not going to lose it now, so he diligently and quietly focussed on keeping steady.
I got off at the next stop and before I stepped out, I blew a kiss at him. His eyes sparkled and his head inadvertently turned to follow my motion. I realised that I had unwittingly shown off my ring again, giving him one last glance of the glittering pink diamond that triggered his curiosity as well as his critical thinking skills and all the while not losing touch with reality, that is, the need to keep steady.
As the car doors closed, his father ruffled his hair and he held on tightly to the bar, getting ready for the motion to resume.