Alone in a crowd

It was the tea break in college, students were pouring onto the corridors and staircases, wanting to rush to the canteen or ground,  catch up with friends, make phone calls, update fb status or hundreds of other reasons…. As I ran up the last flight of steps to the staff room, I saw a girl sitting on the steps, stooped shoulders, arms hugging her knees and looking out the window. As I passed her by, I happened to glance at her and our eyes met. The  pain in her tear filled eyes, wrenched my heart out. I stopped, touched her head and asked if she was alright. She nodded, unable to speak. I asked again if there was anything she wanted to talk or if I could help in any way. She shook her head, took a deep breath and once again looked out. Two tears rolled down her cheeks. I waited, debating whether to sit down or walk away, allowing her the privacy of her thoughts. I looked around, searching for someone who would show recognition to her and come over. None came. It stuck me as so odd that the corridor and staircase was bustling with students but yet, this girl was sitting alone, all by herself in the midst of this crowd. People were walking past her yet none seemed to notice her, none stopped to ask why there were tears in her eyes. She needed someone, yet she had refused to share with me, preferring to deal with her pain by herself. Right in the middle of the crowd, was a soul all by herself, needing someone, yet alone.

Why does this generation prefer to crawl into their shells when they are hurt, when they are low? All day, they live on facebook, sharing every minute of their routine, yet, none of those social media friends was there to wipe her tears or talk to her when she  needed company the most. Then i wondered if these children had been taught how to share their feelings, I mean their real, actual feelings. The ones that she was feeling at that moment, which could not be captured on selfie, could not be photo-shopped or edited, just felt and in the age of gadgets and technology, had they lost the habit of connecting with humans?  Much as I wanted to, I felt helpless, unable to lessen her sorrow. But her eyes haunted me all day, haunt me even today. It is not fair for such a young soul to feel such pain and be alone in that pain. We need to bring back our human side. We need to teach our children to connect to others at a deeper, more meaningful level, to be more human.