The Little Boy in the Yellow Shirt

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Text by Patty Simon

Pushkar, India

Dick has taught me that one of the most beautiful moments on a trip is the serendipitous bumping into and connecting with one stranger.
The little boy in the yellow shirt came up to us like any other hawker at the camel fair – a fair that lures hundreds of foreigners to come see more camels than you will ever see in any one place in your life.
He was selling jeweled writing pens in a package. Now, all of these young entrepreneurs are clever and persistent but this little guy was different. Not only was he a math wiz with all the negotiating (our group all graduated from Harvard Business School) but he learned to sell in 5 languages. He parroted his sales pitch in all five. He was all of ten years old.
He followed us all over so we made a deal with him. We gave him a tip and made him our guide under one condition – he could not sell us anything. He liked us and we liked him so we spent the day with him.
He had that extra smart intuition – knowing when to push and when not to… when to be a salesman and when to be a friendly kid.
We all fell in love with him. Oh, how I wish we could send him to school to become the successful businessman he had the potential to be, if not the next prime minister.
Instead, I bought him dinner, gave him my love card and, of course, bought the pens. We saw him the next day and was so sad to leave him.

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