“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Those few moments

Ger’s post on fleeting moments, reminded me of this recent incident. Let me tell you upfront that it isn’t a romantic or a very nice moment. But a moment nonetheless. One night after my yoga class, we three friends went to a dhaba close by for our dinner. It was quite late, say around 9.15 pm or so if I am not wrong. It was a small place with some chairs placed around the table facing the road. It was quiet outside with very few traffic in that side road. Opposite to this dhaba there was a clinic. While having our roti and sabzi we were talking about official stuff when my eyes fell on this woman sitting on the sidewalk. There was a guy, looked like a friend of hers, sitting next to her. She had her phone in one hand and was talking very animatedly. Nothing new there. Lot of people talk on the phone on the sidewalks at night when they find some peace and quiet. But something about the way she was waving her hand and then covering her face and then looking up told me that she was very agitated or upset over something. By then I had totally tuned out my friends and it was just me and her. Suddenly she started to cry. Not the wailing kind, just a sob which she tried to control but just couldn’t. Like she couldn’t hold her pain any longer and it just came out through her tears. She was still on the phone and sobbing uncontrollably. It felt like she had received a very bad news about someone, at least that is how it felt to me. Her friend who was giving her space, came close and gave her a one armed hug so as to convince her that there is someone to hold her so she can let go. I almost had tears in my eyes. I so wished that I could go and give her a hug, if only to share a small amount of pain that was there in her face. Suddenly I heard my name being called and realized that I was supposed to be having dinner with my friends. By the time I was about to turn back to my friends, she lifted her face and saw me for a second, eyes full of tears and bent down her head. I felt bad after that because it felt like I was part of a very private moment that was supposed to be hers only. I have thought of that woman every time I pass that place and wish that whatever it was that day, she found her peace.