Just A Smile
Just A Smile
She had met him at the lowest point of her life. She had been feeling unwanted and undeserving of a life, a happy life.
With Aaru, just a mere seven, she had been feeling desolate with none she could look up to for a moral support. She was not someone who would have conversations with her own relative, leave alone a stranger. But somehow when she had met him at the clinic, she kind of felt a change, she smiled after almost half an year.
Six months ago, she had lost Vivek, her husband, her first love, her everything. It was disastrous. His death was sudden and unexpected, bolt from the blue. Yes, the airplane he was travelling in had crashed. Her in-laws were too old to take up her responsibility. So, it was up to her to take charge without even having had time to grieve. She somehow had scrambled to find a good job with her qualifications. But caught up in all her responsibilities and her suppressed grief, she had found no time to smile, until today.
She met him, at the clinic where she had taken Aaru for a general check up as she had been cranky and not eating well. He looked at them and smiled. And the smile was such that it brought a smile on her face too. Smiling, made her feel good, feel loved, felt peace. The emotions she had not experienced or cut off in her mind. He came up to them, something she did not expect, and picked up Aaru. Aaru did not wriggle as she normally would do with strangers. Aaru smiled at him and while they had a conversation, she drifted off into thoughts where she remembered Aaru in Vivek's arms and how they would break off into giggles and actions loudly. She smiled, yes, she smiled. Just then, she heard Aaru call out, " Amma, Doctor uncle says I am absolutely fine." She was back to reality. She turned towards them and took her back.
"She is fine. Just needs some attention, I think. Let's wait for a few days. Meanwhile let me prescribe a health tonic, which will help generally," he said and smiled. She felt something change in her as she returned the smile. It was just then that she noticed something she hadn't before- his walk. He limped. He caught her observing his walk. She felt embarrassed.
"It's Ok. I limped, because I have an artificial leg. Nothing much. An year and a half ago, I met with an accident. I lost my family and ended up thus. Life goes on and we along with it. This is life," he smiled.
This time when she smiled back, she knew what a smile did.