After a rather strenuous trek in Bhutan, I knocked on the door of a cafe, in the hope to find something to eat. What I found instead was a tiny little person in pink. I had just returned from the mesmerising beauty that is the Taktsang Monastery, but this little one’s quiet charm looked more stunning. Truth be told, this scene nourished me more than food could have.

On enquiring about the cafe; she uttered ‘closed’ in a barely audible voice and blushed to match the colour of her sweater. My friends and I tried to befriend her just as her brother decided to step out and act all protective. It took a DSLR and a massive lens for them to let their guards down and pose for us with a mix of confusion and joy on their faces. They reserved their adorable toothy smiles for later when they ran into narrate their little adventure to their mom.

Innocence, I realised, holds in itself the power to make the world seem better. Vulnerability on a face is more powerful in making a stranger feel at home than assumed confidence can ever be. These little ones were a welcome sight for us, and we were thankfully a pleasant sight for their curious eyes.

Originally published at on March 21, 2016. Photos by Sukrit Nagaraj and text by Tintu Saleem.

Like what you read? Give Tintu Saleem a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.