It is a shame that I can not recall his name, but I can vividly remember his thick black hair, how his eyes twinkled when he smiled and how he walked with one hand in his pocket. He was well-groomed and well-mannered.
He must had been around 7 or 8 years old, but he had the vibe of a man coming out to the Ganges for a walk after dinner. I felt guilty for thinking that he started talking to us for a reason, but he wasn’t one of those children who came out to sell or do business. He simply wanted to have a conversation with us.
We offered him some of our tomatoes, but he politely refused with a smile, “I just had dinner. I am very full. Thank you.” He rubbed his tummy and made a ‘I can’t eat anymore’ face.
I can’t remember what exactly we talked about for half an hour but we were laughing a lot.
It was getting late, so we decided to walk back to our guesthouse. He offered to walk with us.
We strolled down the main street, checking out jewelry and sari stands along the way. I heard people quickly moving to one side, gasping and yelling out. When I looked up, the herd of bulls were running towards my direction and was only about 15 feet away.
Before I could react, I was already shoved aside by the little boy. When I turned to look back, I saw fear in his eyes, but his action was like a grown man. A second after his heroic act, he broke into a smile and then laughter. He was laughing, probably at me for being dumbstruck. But I like to believe the laughter of relief was for what we had just experienced together.
A few days earlier, my friend’s hip bone was bruised by a bull’s horn as it was walking passed her. I couldn’t imagine how badly I would have been injured.