Mushtaque B Barq

Smile Please…it Matters

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He was there like a rock, ready to give tough time to one and all. Even the splashes from the open lane after the rubber and rubble rumbled with filth hardly hampered his hanging around. His shoulders like his broad forehead had a verse of old bard well preserved. Between those lanes of the past, a newly constructed bylane was not yet ready for the public. Behind those narrow lanes of reminiscence, his smile was still fresh. This freshness amidst his prying looks was indeed a contrary philosophy in prose. Hard to read and difficult to have a handle on it. At times these smiles expose the buried bones of the face when the writing on the wall mismatches with puffy hills of the facade. On that bus stop, he was only waiting for that encouraging smile from her. No one has had till date responded his curious eyes. A smile is sweet when sharing in the true sense. Who knows why she had passed that stretch of innocence through that pane of a bus every day. But his introvert invasions were not green enough to hold the dew of her side glances. Yes, she had passed a smile, but the frill of doubt was still under process. In the labyrinth of crinkles who knows a fold may someday surprise him or spoil him. He seems hopeful. Hope is the aid that cures, but to deeper ones, expert hand plays their role.

For him, a holiday was never a gala-day, but a grey day with clouds ravishing the beams, holding warmth. But he would come to stand at the bus stand to mark his presence as if the hoardings and mobile tower in the background were there to stand as a witness for his loyalty. He would think.

“Why not make this day a glorious day by starting off on the right foot to meet my own self? Why not fill my heart with love and gratitude for a day filled with best of the things I had never wished to see and observe? Why not turning into a magnifying glass to pick up a lost bit from the heap of time? Why not share the lethal introvert agony to ease the burden of grief? Why not smile at someone who knows nothing of it? Why not raise the lesser mortals from the conservative overcrowding by pumping in verve of hope? And above all why not to dedicate the day for someone you love irrespective of manmade borders.”

His introspection cut through the glass wall. He reached where he had never reached before. Her holiday for her maybe, a simple marketing, a casual walk or visiting a relative, but he turned her holiday into a working day. A day that he would always remember for making so many faces to wear a holy dress of smile.

His steps were brisk; with every step, he would reconstruct the edifice in ruins. With every gulp of air, he was thinking. His stagnation at the bus stop seemed unworthy. Life was before him like a glimmering sun sending waves of warmth to melt the raw gold that he had never exposed to anyone. His introvert lumps were not on the show. Every tissue oozing the sap, every beat losing a layer of ignorance, every bit of him battered beyond recognition and every brittle borrowed bone mutilated beyond surgeons blade and bolt.

The fate stopped him at the gate of a leper hospital. He peeped through the fencing. Half mutilated faces, puffed-up limbs and faces carved out of excruciating pain. His heart stopped for a while. He died for a moment. His thinking jammed in the narrowest lanes of the ache. Someone opened the gate; his heart gained the pace, his limbs moved and his eyes rolled. He was a part of their sufferings. His introvert concoctions ceased to exist. His skull had a well-marked fissure. Compassion was leaking profusely. Love was running down the lanes plugged by concertina wires. He smiled, for he had nothing save his smiles to carry where generally people cart food and clothing.

Someone from the group cried.

“We no more need food and clothing but a smile.”

Behind that voice was a feeble hope. He smiled and engaged all. He raised his hand high up. His hand calmed them. He scanned everyone. Every heart was bruised, every face maimed and every limb a burden.

He smiled only smiled.

Few of them shoed their back but a few responded. Those who act in response were taken aback for no one like him had ever visited them with such a treasure. They smiled too for he was only smiling. Those had turned their back were laughing for they had nothing to offer by smiles.

He made them smile. Smile please it matters a lot.

It was the smile that she passed and enshrined into him the very objective to live and let others live.

He became the ambassador of this rich heritage that he owed from her free of cost and he made the most of it by promulgating it in the same way he received.


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