Sliding Up: Seethamma’s Smile

Smile

At first glance, I see her industriously sweeping the floor as she always has. I’ve seen her here several times, this being an auditorium I’ve used for performances several times. She is of indeterminate age. I’ve rarely seen her gloomy.

Today,though, I notice that Seethamma’s gait is awkward. She careens a bit to the left every time she steps back. I ask her why. The answer stuns me.

Seethamma has a misshapen foot, a fact I realize I must’ve always known. Three digits of her right foot are at right angles to the other two, a condition that has to be incredibly painful. I ask her if this is a condition she has suffered from birth. She replies that an alcoholic husband cut off these digits while she was asleep as she refused to allow him to “sell” her child to a so-called adoption agency. An indifferent doctor stitched these digits anyhow and the condition worsened over time.

Her smile is infectious. She tells me that it could be worse. There are people without limbs, with terrible diseases. She is lucky, she says. She gets to hear music everyday for free. It’s been healing her, she claims.

She advises me to smile more on stage. As she continues humming her way across the floorboards, I walk across to set up my instrument.

2 Responses

  1. Nice one Anil. Makes me wonder how much we crib on a day to day basis without considering ourselves lucky to have whatever we do. What is more important is despite all this they are happy! Thanks for sharing..

  2. While, we rely on props and comforts to handle life these live by their will and spirit. I adore the Seethamas in our life

    Two days back I got introduced to a girl, from a modest setting, she was not very pleasing to behold (in the regular sense) Her smile and her talk was magnetic. She was supposed to be an expert on gadgets (that ws the intro I got). She took that as a complement and smiled. I got to know she had within 5 minutes understood all the functions of the google glass and started operating it casually. She even taught a trick or two to the owner of the glass.

    While at it check this Video I did long back of Mr Rao the Piaono Tuner

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViKzFZoV2bU

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