A Gift of Chappals

July 2017


To donate something is an act of generosity. As Winston Churchill once said-

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Of course, whatever we "give" should be of some use to the beneficiary.


Yesterday I had gone to the market with Mumma to get some new pairs of footwear. Though I already have enough of them, I just felt that it’d been months since I got the last one.


After satisfying myself with two new pairs of ballerinas, as we both came out, my eyes got stuck on the other side of the road. There was a child-a ragpicker, picking up some stuff that might be useful to him. But what made me freeze in that scorching heat was how he was walking bare feet at such a high temperature that could even melt the road’s surface.


I immediately held Mumma’s arm, and pointing towards him shrieked-


“Look at him, Mumma! That little boy there, he’s walking bare feet.”


“Then let’s get him a pair of chappals”, Mumma replied, as soon as she saw the kid.


I waved and called that boy from the other side of the road, and we went back to the store. Mumma asked one of the workers there to get his size of slippers. And I was looking at this boy’s face, trying to analyse his expressions. He seemed confused, looking all around with blank expressions, probably thinking how overspending has become so common among our strata of people. And I was reminded of the lines-

“The things are all here to content everybody, yet everybody has the wrong thing.”

After some fifteen minutes or so, the worker Bhaiya returned with several fancy slippers; some even had Disney cartoon characters printed on them similar to those I used to wear.


But he politely refused to try any one of them and asked sheepishly-


“Rubber wali nahi hai?” (don’t you have rubber Chappals?)


“Give him a pair of Bata chappals Bhaiya,” Mumma said.


Finally, Bhaiya got a pair of blue Bata chappals and placed them right in front of him. And as he slipped his feet into them, there was a sense of joy all around the store.


His 50 rupees chappals overshadowed my 3000 rupees ballerinas.


This incident changed my perspective towards life in a certain way and made me question why we always trouble ourselves so much to get new things, whether clothes or friends or anything else?


Let’s discard the challenges we keep finding in our paths and instead appreciate and celebrate the small happy moments living by our footsteps. Let’s not get lost while running after big joys- they might turn out to be just an illusion. Instead, let’s give a chance to these little moments of joy scattered all around us. Let’s create and focus on such little things every day and let them be the guiding lights of our path. It’s essential to appreciate such small joys in our lives, for together, they make our life a blessing!



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I'm a dreamer, scribbler, research scholar, and travel junkie from the land of five rivers, Punjab (India). 

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