A bunch of new hair clips and a gleeful smile on my daughter’s face is what I noticed when my mother’s house help came to work today. An extremely efficient house help and a very warm and generous person with an enormous smile on her face at all times. Geeta Aunty is what the kids call her. Every time the kids visit the grandparents, Geeta Aunty looks after them, feeds them, showers them with love and gives them small knick-knacks. The hair clips are also a gift from her to my daughter. 

iPhone Picture Captured By My Six Year Old. One of the many as she is
documenting her visit to India. 
My six year old, who is now able to comprehend much more than she did in the previous India trips, notices that Geeta Aunty works at our house to earn a living. She understands  that a lot of people live with limited money and facilities here. They work hard to make a living and put food on the table. I explain to her that Geeta Aunty works so that she can send her three young children to school. We assist her in our own ways in sending them to a good school. The kids sometimes work odd jobs, run errands for people living in the apartment complex that my parents live in. They do so to earn a bit of pocket money or money needed to buy stationery for their school perhaps. Their dad irons clothes for people in the community (a task that is very commonly done by the “presswala” as they are called in India) 

So when my daughter gets the hair clips as a gift, I can see that she sees more to them than just being hair accessories. She tells me she is touched that Geeta Aunty gave her a gift even though her own resources are so limited. She is bad at saying ‘Thank You’s’ but she surprises me by saying so. Not only does she do that, she asks Geeta Aunty to do her hair with one of the new  hair clips. 

Though it is not said aloud, I know my daughter has learnt a new lesson about generosity today. More importantly, she has learnt that “giving” is not related to how much you possess. You just need the heart to do so. 

I ask Geeta for a picture for this story. She tells me to run another story about her in the next few days and she would pose for me in a better sari. I agree. Anything to capture that loving warm smile. 

Story Credit : Piya Mukherjee