He suggested that we watch Martian and that I’d like it. I agreed, rather reluctantly. Whilst watching the movie, I asked him if he’d ever like to go to Mars. He said yes, to which I asked him ‘then why don’t you?. He said he’d need immense amount of training and knowledge to be able to go there, to which I asked him ‘why don’t you?’. He took his eyes off the screen, looked at me and said ‘I’m actually happy on earth’. I smiled and said ‘because you’ve got your alien here! ‘You’re more than an alien’
Away to start looking at the world through lens, as a photographer. Not an easy task but I is a do-er, not a dreamer AND a tigress. Lets take down the world through the eyes of a camera!
You step out of your door,,,its a beautiful day,,,you can smell the fresh air,,hear the chirping birds,,,see the flower petals,,you feel like your lips are moving, they are forming a shape, they turned into something. What is that? a smile? a smile?? Yes! A Smile!! You walk on,,, the day is getting a bit less beautiful,,,you can no longer hear the birds but the noisy vehicles,,,you can no longer see flowers or enjoy the fresh air,,,you are in town,,,all you see is people,,,all sort of people,,,noisy, angry, annoying, grumpy and cranky people. You dont want to smile but you cant wipe that smile off your face. You’re stuck with it. It is starting to hurt but its not going away. You see an old woman coming your way. She looks grumpy and scary. You dont want to look at her or smile but do you have a choice? No!. You looked at her with the smile thats pasted onto your face. She looks at you with surprise and then she smiles back at you. Woah,,that felt good, you thought.
You continue your journey. A delinquent looking teenager comes your way on his roller blade. You definitely don’t want to smile at this one and invite trouble. But do you have a choice? Of course not! You smile. He looks back at you, he smirks and he speeds away on his roller blade. With the same smile, shaking you heard you thought, that wasn’t bad even if he didn’t smile back. Next up is a mother struggling with her 3 children (one baby and 2 temperamental toddlers). You look at the children and then at the mother with your carved smile. She looks at you angrily thinking you are mocking her about her ‘misery’. You see a macho man with his arms covered in tattoos, eyes pure red,,,you smile at him as well. He looks at you straight without blinking his eyes for 5 whole seconds. Then something unexpected happens. He smiles. You feel like jumping up and down. He smiled!! You never felt this happy in your life.
Although you don’t know,,,,this is what is going to happen to the ‘victims’ of your contagious smile. The old lady goes back to her husband who is on his death bed. She smiles at him; she thanks him for being there for her all this time, for loving her, for protecting her. Her husband smiled back at him and said to her ‘I Love You Dear’ and said his goodbye. Although tears rolling down her cheeks, she has the same smile carved on her face. Now the teenage boy, he goes back home. His mother opens the door. He didn’t push her away and march upstairs like he always does. Instead, he looks at her and he smiles reluctantly. His mother, not being able to believe her eyes starts crying and hugs her dear son. They both smile with tears in their eyes. And the single mother? She takes out her phone. She dials her mother’s number. She apologises to her for being angry with her, she tells her its hard to raise 3 children alone and she informs her that she misses her. Hearing this, her mother replied that she is on her way. The single mother took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and then,,,she smiled,,,like theres no tomorrow! Last but not least, our macho man. He opened his door to his lonely life and to his lonely house. He went over to his drawer and took the photograph of his beloved son. He smiled and then cried. He mourned for his deceased son. He went to bed with his sons picture. The next day he woke up. Stepped out of his house…,,,its a beautiful day,,,he smelled the fresh air,,heard the chirping birds,,,saw the flower petals…his lips were moving, they formed a shape, they turned into something. What is that? a smile? a smile?? Yes! A Smile!!
Smile- it is one human gesture that is as powerful as lightning, as sweet as honey and as genuine as a baby’s heart. It will give people hope, strength, happiness, courage and moreover it’s contagious.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
‘We are in France you know?!’ I said to my other half who was sitting beside me in a random cafés courtyard. I could feel the sun piercing through my skin. The feeling was great and rare considering this was Scotland! We sat there for a long time enjoying the sun, the fresh air, life and the ice cubes I had in my drink (I like to play with my ice!). We said goodbye to the cheery staff working there and hit the road. We were on a country road of National Speed Limit but the vehicles in front of us were doing 30mph. I wondered what was going on. My other half said that an elderly person was ahead of us. Right after he said that, the 2 vehicles that were infront of us overtook the slow vehicle. My other half put the car on sports mode and speeded up. When we were right beside the slow car, I looked over. It was driven by an elderly lady and her husband. I said to my other half that I will never have the heart to overtake elderly people. He said that it’s needed for ours and other road user’s safety. This was how it all started and somehow we got on to the next topic: getting or giving lift to a stranger (and elderly people). My other half concluded by saying that he probably will give lifts but not take lifts from strangers.
The tree leaves that were shining under the sun rays, the rivers, the mountains…we enjoyed heaven on earth in silence. Our favourite music when we drive around Scotland was on repeat. Whilst we were passing through a beautiful place called Aberfoyle, we saw an elderly man standing at the side waving his hand at us. Approximately 10 feet away from the man, my other half stopped the car. He said to me, ‘you will feel bad if we don’t give him a lift’. I smiled at him and got out of the car. The man came running to us. He said we were very kind. I offered him the passenger seat and jumped into the backside. The 20-30 minutes journey after that was something I won’t ever want to forget. It was not an extraordinary experience but was a special one for me. The elderly man talked, I talked (surprise surprise!!) and my other half talked (with a little bit reluctance at first). We talked about places, people and life in general. The man said to me that I’ve picked up a Scottish accent after my 4 years of Uni in Scotland (wasn’t surprised or shocked at that!)
He talked about his experiences of going around the world. I asked him questions, he asked us questions. He asked my other half how his romance was. My other half answered by saying that’s its good. The old man tried to turn around and ask me the same. I said it’s not too bad. He said to me ‘ I wish I was 50 years younger and you were a little older’. I laughed at it and did not dare to look over my other half.
We continued talking. I asked him about why he was out there. When the man answered that he goes around different places in Scoltand everyday, my other half took over from me and asked him whether people often stop when he asks for lifts. The man stated that Scottish people are often good and that he has a beggars face so they stop. I said that he has got a lovely face and that’s why we stopped. He laughed, looking around and said ‘I wish you were single ”. I couldn’t help but laugh. I said to the man that he wouldn’t wish the same once he gets to know me and said that the man sitting beside him was about to throw me out his car earlier on for being nasty to him. And my other half, on the other hand, looked a little annoyed at the second time when the old man tried to hit on his girlfriend. The man laughed and asked me ‘so what about your boyfriend? What does he do?’. With a little embarrassment, I pointed at my other half and said ‘that’s my boyfriend’. The look on the man’s face, I will never forget! He was so embarrassed. He said he thought that we were siblings. My other half, being the lovely person he was, tried to ease the tension by saying we do look alike (!).
The journey continued. So did the conversations. I asked him several questions. He answered all of them. One of which was about was his ex fiancé. He told us that he once was engaged to be married. But the girl didn’t want to leave her family and he said that his apartment was not suitable for the lady. They called off the wedding and the lady got married off to someone else after 4 months. The man reassured us that he never regretted it. When I asked him if he kept in touch with her after marriage, he said it wasn’t right so he didn’t. I asked him again ‘did you say you didn’t regret it?’ He answered ‘oh no, I never did’.
My other half was kind enough to drop the man off near his destination even though that was not the direction we were heading to. The man got out of the car. I did too. Giving a pat on my back, he whispered to me ‘I really wish you were single dear’. I laughed again, giving him one of my special smiles I said, ‘I wish so too’.We said our Goodbyes.
My other half believes that was the voice of lonely man who lost the love of his life. I believe that was the voice of a man who is a little lonely, who is deprived of human warmth and love, but is someone who takes life as it comes, enjoys life, and tries his best to be happy. I silently wished him all the best and happiness in the world. I did regret not giving him a hug but I hope he somehow felt how wonderful and joyous it was for us to meet an inspiring person like him.