A girl, with her head leaned against the vibrating glass of the bus window, gazes at group of kids by the traffic light. She thinks:
104 seconds till the light goes green. But I think, kids like it red. A few of them have torn shoes, most of them are barefoot. The small girl carrying another infant is wearing anklets. Does she appreciate it and its sound like I do? Maybe not. But she sure cares enough to wear it, even though her ankles are all torn and cracked. The tallest boy, surrounded by all shorter boys seems to making some sort of strategy. Inside their small world, they have managed to create small versions of all the basic sociopolitical hierarchy. Is that funny or sad? What will become of them? Do beautiful flowers ever grow out of dumpster? But..
With sudden shake of the glass which was humming softly uptil now, her train of thoughts stops and she realizes that light has turned yellow now, with 10 seconds to go. The kids are running towards the footpath. But some of them are still taking chances and trying to persuade the boys in auto-rickshaw, who they know might pay up to impress the accompanying girl. They sure are streetwise. As bus starts to move, she gets a message from her friend. She smiles and starts to write a reply. And just like that, that boulder of elevated conscience rolls back to abyss. So much for empathy today.