The light changed to green and four lanes of vehicles began their surge across the intersection. Well, at least three did, because the fourth involved what is commonly termed an ‘urchin’ by desi newspapers. Desi newspapers always manage to sound contrived when they aren’t reprinting Reuters- babble about ‘the woman of today’ or who-went-to-whose-party or ‘education of the masses’, strange English-in-translation that is simultaneously endearing in an amusing way and annoying. So this urchin- ‘street children’- was standing in front of a column of cars much bigger than he was, clad in sufficently urchinly shorts and shirt (and shoes, which is most un-urchinly). Eyes alight with mischief and laughter, he had put up a dark, thin left arm, palm open and facing the hulking sleek bullet of a lilac shimmer Civic, and brought an entire line of cars to a total standstill. He stood there for just about a minute, enough time to elicit red brake-lights but not have anyone miss the signal as such. And in that brief moment that ten year old was the centre of the universe, the most empowered little string of a cheeky, confident boy in the world! Mouth stretched in the biggest grin I’ve ever seen, dirty car-wiping rag fluttering in the post-rain breeze like a banner from battle, he sprung in front of the Civic, standing with his chest thrown out like an ice-skater showing off, made everyone stop and then skipped off the road and onto the divider like a tap-dancing goat. All of this happened in the few minutes it takes to pass by a held-up column of cars and flow into an intersection and it was the highlight of my week, this little Puck of the road…wherever you are, you’ve got my respect :D

1 Comment so far

  1. Darwaish (unregistered) on September 11th, 2005 @ 4:34 pm


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