The Pink Lolly

As I look through the shop window,I could see him. Always on time. He walked down the block and crossed the road. Everyone on the street knew Mr.Jenkins. He was like a white drop of milk,in black coffee.Slowly mixing in. He had been in this country for long,you can see it in the way he walks,the way he talks and specially in the way he smiles. He walked up to the door. Although he is old Mr.Jenkins has this air of youth around him. Instead of opening it and walking in,he looked straight at me. And as I smiled at him,I knew I was in for a treat. You see,unlike many sour old foreigners who are either forced to live in third world countries due to poverty or sheer unluck,Mr Jenkins had this wonderful sense of acceptance paired with friendliness. And as usual he began to mime. Although being neither good nor accurate at it,he began a series of hand gestures and facial expressions. In a rather comical manner. After about three minutes I gave him a thumbs up. Which was the common signal to show that I had caught the jest of his miming. He walked in to the shop beaming. Although I knew what character he was playing,I always chose to amuse him. Because it would bring out that wonderful smile of his. Cyclist?Doctor?Magician?Clown? The list continued. And each time I got the answer correct he produced a pink lolly and handed it to me.For me it was better than receiving an Oscar. With each lick,my tongue would turn pink and my day would become brighter. This small routine of ours continued,very well into my teenage years.And every Saturday I would wait for him for he was always on time. Until I went off to university. When I came home I got to know that Mr.Jenkins had passed away. He had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis,for years. Then only did I realize how painful it would have been for him to perform his weekly miming acts. Yet he always managed to make me happy. A little boy sitting at a grocery shop counter,surrounded by mounds and mounds of spices. It was not the thought of the pink lolly that made me look forward to his visits as a child. It was always…always his smile. And now whenever I buy lollys for my kids,I remember him. Smiling at me through the glass shop door. Smiling his warm foreign smile. 20140311-064618.jpg


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