A smile, something which takes minimal effort, but has major impact. Big smiles, little smiles, miles of smiles. Smiles, the one thing that's universal. It doesn't matter where you are, a smile says so much.
I've always known that smiling could make a difference in someone's day. On my most recent trip to India, I got to see the impact. One of the sweetest people I met on this trip was our driver, Dilshad.
There he was, waiting every afternoon. Quiet, seemingly shy but listening to everything. For the first two days I didn't know his name and that bugged me, but I was usually riding in the back, letting other members of the team ride shotgun.
However, we finally had a weekend to play tourist and that's when we found out his name and smiles became a regular occurance amongst all of us. We'd walk up to the car, "Good Afternoon Ma'am" and a smile. He'd pick us up, "Good Evening, Ma'am" and a smile. We ran him ragged over the weekend; however, he was nothing but smiles.
In that week's time, I learned more about him, about his family. He shared pictures of his wife (soon to be at the time) and his niece. He saw pictures of my nephews and my niece. We slowly became friends over the week.
It's rather funny, our conversations. We talk once a week. These chats turn into Hindi lessons, discussions about life, how his family is doing, how my family is doing; and while part of me is a little jaded because I know he would like to come to the US, I am hoping that time will flesh out his sincerity in being a "friend".
9000 miles away and he can tell if I am upset or disturbed, as he likes to say. 9000 miles away and he's cracking jokes so I will laugh. I know he wants a better life for himself and his new bride. It is my hope that his future is as bright as his smile.