The marketplace was a sea of humanity ,men, women, small children clinging on to their mothers, protesting hawkers.
I myself was one of those children , girl of six wide eyed with wonder .The brilliant colours ,tingling smells fighting people all inspired me and I was held spell bound .
My mother complaining about my slow pace stopped at a vegetable shop and started arguing about the price of tomatoes .I suddenly saw a women with two baskets of ripe yellow mangoes at a distance .I used to love mangoes and I started walking towards the women away from my mother .Just then a crowd of people went past me and I lost sight of the mango seller and also my mother. Panic gripped me and I shouted out for my mother .No one noticed ,no one cared .Tears poured down my face and the market lost its beauty .I started moving with the crowd , my mind petrified . Suddenly I caught sight of a woman wearing a blue saree identical to my mother’s. I ran towards her , caught her hand and shouted “ Mama , where were you ?” The lady turned to me , with a surprised look on her face . Horrified to find that she was not my mother . I burst out crying . The lady bent down touched my cheeks and said , “It’s OK , dear . Can’t you find your mother ? Don’t worry, she’ll be here soon .” She gently caught hold of my arm and led me to the announcement room in the market . My name and my mother’s name was asked and an announcement was made in the mike.All along the lady sat next to me patting me and speaking words of comfort .I noticed that she was middle aged ,had almond shaped eyes and a fair complexion.
Over all she was not beautiful but there was something in her smile that made her look pleasing .By this time my mother arrived looking flustered ,twisting her hands in anxiety .she hugged me tightly and thanked the lady in the blue sari over and over again .My mother asked me to thank her too “ Thank you “I said and remembering something I had read added “ you have a helping hand .“
The woman smiled broadly ,pinched my cheek affectionately and said goodbye and walked away .
A few days passed ,one day I went with my father ,a doctor to the hospital in which he works .My father was busy and I was left to do what I pleased .I started raoming around the hospital greeting all the nurses .I was walking along a corridor when I saw a door left wide open .Glancing inside I found the lady in the marketplace lying on the bed staring vacantly into space and I said “ Hi “ and the lady turned around and saw me smiling ,she asked me to come inside ,I walked to her and sat gingerly on the edge of the bed and asked her what she was dong in the hospital.. She said that she had an accident and I noticed that her face was marked with numerous cuts and bruises “.Iam so sorry “ I replied “ Are you all right now ? “ She nodded looking down .I followed her gaze and my eyes grew wide in shock ! I found that her right hand had been amputated from below the elbow and cried “ Aunty your hand .”.” i lost it in the accident “ She replied sadly I looked at her face horrified .
She thought for a moment and said “ I don’t have a helping hand anymore do I ? “ and then she hugged me tightly and cried her heart out .