I met Kumkum at a children’s home in Delhi. It is a home where children who are sick are provided treatment and care before being sent to some other orphanage. Kumkum was 7 years old, and a very brave soul. Despite suffering from tuberculosis, I never saw her crying. She had lost her parents to this terrible disease and was herself struggling through it.
Upon meeting, we had taken instant liking for each other. Every Saturday I would visit Kumkum and play with her. She would love to sit in my lap. It was one such moment that the child felt like kissing me… and I suddenly remembered that she was suffering from tuberculosis which is a communicable disease. I tried to stop her but she really wanted to show her affection for me, so in that one instance I overcame my fear and let her place the most gentle, sweetest kiss on my cheek that I ever had.
Although I overcame my fear at that moment, I have not forgiven myself for refusing her initially. Although the child kissed me, I think she sensed my reluctance because she has never kissed me again. I will never forget that the most beautiful thing in this world is a child’s kiss… so full of love and innocence.
Geetika Chopra lives in India and works for MNC.