I had chosen a corner seat in the bus to hide away from the effects of the scorching sun. She was sitting in a corner too. She seemed immersed in a thin booklet. Like a nonchalant observer, I looked away but something soon caught my attention. Her eyes were not moving. She couldn’t be reading THAT slow, I thought to myself. She did not turn a single page for the next 3 minutes, after which I saw a teardrop fall on the page. Ouch. Not a pretty sight. But she somehow managed to sit with a straight face and suppressed the river that was probably engulfing her inside. I felt pretty concerned, and I wanted to know what was it that was worrying her. But when I saw that her lips were sealed tight with determination and her eyes made some effort to move, I felt relieved.
The bus halted for about 10 minutes. She was looking straight ahead, and I tried to follow her gaze but I could not figure out whether she was actually looking at something or was simply lost in her thoughts. As it turned out, it was the latter. For she was soon shedding silent uncontrollable tears, and her head was bent down, probably ’cause she felt embarrassed and did not want to be noticed. I wanted to reach out to her and comfort her, but for what, I really did not know. An elderly Sardarji saw her and asked her what was wrong. But she merely looked at him and said nothing, still trying hard to fight her pain. I noticed her body language. She wanted to hide and bury herself somewhere and cry peacefully. So she looked away, wiping off her tears on her sleeve, but she suddenly stopped crying. I realised that she was looking at what must be one of the smallest temples in our country. It probably made her feel better. It probably made her feel faithful towards a powerful presence that looks after all of us. She thanked God by giving tears as her offering. She knew she would be taken care of. It was the most simplistic signal from the Universe. Because it has a universal application. At that moment, she needed someone to hold her and comfort her. It was pretty much like a scene from those cliched movies, where what they wish for comes true in the next hour/minute or so. But it happened in front of my eyes. I remember her watery, sad eyes. Anybody with insight would have come to know she was really melancholy inside, and was perhaps wallowing in a spiral of unstable emotions.
I had my eyes on her during the rest of the journey. She immersed herself into that booklet again and this time, she succeeded in turning the pages. By the time we reached our common destination, she had finished the booklet. “Bravo!” I said to her in my mind. The whole scene triggered a line of thought in my mind. In this big BIG world, we’re all looking for something to drive us ahead. We need to believe in ourselves, and we sometimes need to believe in our chosen faith. It could be a religion, a person, a small memento, anything. But faith is something that makes everything seem REAL. It makes us believe that we’ll be able to transform our ideas and our dreams into reality. There were idealists and dreamers like Albert Einstein and Wright brothers who were not encouraged because not many people believed in them and their abstract visions and theories. But something except birds did fly in the air. And it changed the world forever. They must have had their bad days, trying to struggle with enigmatic piece of ideas. But when those ideas turned into reality, it was indeed nothing but reality! Faith makes us feel safe, secure, peaceful. The girl knew she would be taken care of, and perhaps that set her will into motion. Faith is a powerful force that makes us move from point A to point B. It can make us do wonders. And what exactly is faith? Faith is defined as “I believe”.