Happiness at the Shop

At times we find happiness at unexpected times, with unexpected people, and at unplanned places. Yesterday I found it at a shop. After going through a busy day and doing a couple of henna tattoos later, me, my husband, and my son Nishant went to Hungry Lion to get some chicken and chips. We placed our take away order at the counter and waited for it at the tables. It was late night around 8:30 p.m. (yes you read correct; late night because the winter is settling here in Windhoek and short of this time, the entire city slows down into silence as if it is a Martian place) and the all-day busy Independence Avenue had turned quiet. It was one and a half hour over our usual dinner time. Our tummies were rumbling hard and every minute of waiting seemed to us like lifetime… 😥

While we were holding back our recurring yawns, I saw a car being parked in front of the shop. Shortly, a family of an old couple and a bright-eyed toddler boy with mischievous and playful expressions got down. He seemed their grandchild. The moment he got down, he posed like a warrior and looked around as if he wanted to get noticed. 😉 I could not hold back my smile. He came to know that I had noticed him and to my surprise he happily reciprocated to me. They all walked in to the shop.


While the seniors were busy browsing the menu card, the boy went behind the table where I was sitting. I curiously turned around and in a splash of a second he sat down to hide. I could make out, he wanted to play. I could see his hazel-brown hair but he strongly seemed to believe that he was not visible to me. 😀 Then I pretended as if I was looking for him but somehow being unable to spot him. He duck-walked to the neighboring table and spontaneously revealed himself from there. We exchanged smiles… I turned back again to let him hide. From the corner of my eyes I noticed that he again duck-walked to a different nearby table and waited for me to find him out. I pretended to spot him after multiple attempts and the game went on. Every time he emerged out with a wider smile, his few milk-teeth would shine. Our game of Hide-and-Seek continued secretly for a few rounds to turn his smile into non-stop giggles and bright eyes into the twinkling ones. His grandma noticed that the apple of her eyes was playing with me and smiled silently. My boys were busy talking on the phone and checking our order status.

I guess what the seniors had ordered was already ready, so they received their take away order earlier than us. While they took it and headed towards exit, the little fellow joined them. He waved his hand at me; this time jointly with his grandmother. Throughout our game we exchanged only unspoken language and smiles. We did not speak even a single word to each other…It was so unplanned and short, yet so amazing!

A small child, whom I did not even know before we met, played with me. He dragged me into his little happy world for some time and delivered smiles. I paid for our order but what the little boy gave was unexpected, and indeed priceless. 🙂