When I was in Hampi, I ran into a group of middle school students on a field trip. Hampi, India is a UNESCO World Heritage site, filled with ruins, temples and rock formations to marvel at.
Our tour of the city brought us to a place called Queen’s Bath. At the entrance, we saw the huge group of kids lined up next to the front gate waiting to go in. I thought to myself, “Uh oh. S.O.S. Chaos to follow.”
Chaos did ensure.
There were 10 of us in Hampi at the time. All foreigners. And if you have been in India before, you know that most locals like to stare at foreigners–out of curiosity. They also like to say hello, shake hands and take pictures. And if they’re kids, they shout and run after you too.
So this place, Queen’s Bath, is literally a place with a giant bath in the middle, like this:
Guess who was in the bath itself when the kids ran it. This guyyyyy.
They swarmed in strong and seemed really excited to see us. I was a natural target, being the sole foreigner trapped in the middle of a giant box.
Boy it was mayhem. By the way, I’m saying all this in good fun. I love kids, and I like to see them happy. Foreigners are, quite literally, foreign to them. For some reason, they love seeing us. They wanted to shake our hands, be in pictures with us, or even just to be near us. We felt like superstars, with out little fans following us around. Here are some pictures:
They were just… happy. It was the highlight of my trip. And we really didn’t do anything much. We just spent some time with them and took pictures. That’s all we needed. Small acts, big happiness. It made me happy too. And their teacher was happy that he got photos of us with the kids, and perhaps also because the kids got a chance to see us. Interesting thought.
It really is true that happiness is relative, and it all depends on one’s expectations. This really puts life in perspective. You don’t have to accomplish everything or be the luckiest person in the world to be happy. Sometimes, joy comes when you least expect it. Sometimes, joy comes from simplicity.