Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Joanna was a little girl whose house I had to pass on my way to school.  She used to wait at her gate, in her school dress holding her mother's hand, refusing to leave for school until she saw me.  After many days of smiling bashfully, one morning she mustered up enough courage to run up to me and say breathlessly, “I love you like chocolate.”

Being in high school and carrying all the baggage that comes with that age, I don’t think I appreciated her sentiment.  I never saw Joanna after that school year.

Some time back I found myself thinking of her and realized that Joanna had paid me a very great compliment.  In those days in India, chocolate was a rare treat and to a six-year-old, surely the most precious thing in the world.

I have been and am loved in many ways but no one since has ever told me I am the most precious thing in the world.

I wish I was 14 again and Joanna was waiting at her gate.

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