That morning I didn’t see her at her usual place. Everyday she would be sitting at that spot in the pavement where the road takes a sharp turn. There was something really graceful about her which I have never seen in a beggar before. Her face always had a faint smile and she always approached people in a serene, calm manner. She didn’t mind if people didn’t notice her. She would always sit with her legs folded at one side as if she is going to start singing. She looked like an adorable, contented granny. Some days there would be an old man, a bit younger, he would sit beside her and talk while puffing cheap beedi. Some days they would be eating something together.
That day I realised that I see Amma every morning on my way to office and her sight always makes me feel good. I didn’t see her next few days and I started imagining worst. I was sad. Very sad. Neither I knew her, nor I have given her anything ever. I realised I missed her. I hoped she was alright.
My morning German class started after few days. I started my day early and went to office directly from there everyday. I almost forgot about her. After few weeks I saw Amma again. It was 7 am. She was crossing the road ahead of the turn. With a help of a young boy, who was probably on his way to his morning chores. She was limping with her polio affected legs yet smiling brightly. I was happy to see Amma again.
After few days I noticed she had a wheelchair now. Nothing fancy, just the basic with a plastic chair attached. She looked even happier. The old man was sitting beside her talking in a serious manner. Probably he arranged it for her.
I don’t travel on that road frequently anymore since last one year. But I still see Amma sometimes. And when I don’t, I start wondering about her. Now I imagine what she might be doing if not begging. I imagine her at home doing things or talking to people. I imagine her with her family. But most importantly I imagine her always smiling.