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It’s hardly 4 in the morning. A lonely crescent moon shines like crazy, about to make way for the eastern light. It was the year of 2005, a group of college boys soaked with marijuana, Floyd and the morning dews walked past the hostel gates, to go to their regular ‘chai ka dukan’. The feeling was amazing. Shivering with cold we used to cup the glass with both hands and let the warmth inside. We often reached, before the shop opened, cigarettes keeping us company.
A man and wife raised the shutters of their small tea stall, at an abrupt bend of this unending highway. We used to see them appearing from the near-by slum as the reddish sky bled the morning colors, behind them. I didn’t know how long a walk it was for them.Boy: Kya, swami,Kab se byatha hain hum log. Kitna late karte ho aajkal Man: (in his rustic Kannad accent) Are Kya karein saab, raat me neend pura nahin hota hain, hamara beta thora bimar hain na! Boy: (impatiently) Thik hain! Thik hain, chaliye koi nai, aap phatak se 6 cup chai aur 3 ande banake dijiye. Man: Aande nahi hain saab, Khatam ho gaya, butter-bun chalega? Boy: Arre yaar!! Tumlog bhi haad karte ho. Sab rakhha karo kaal se, nahi to phir ayenge nahin. Man: Sab. Nahin le paya kal, beta bimar hain, haspatal le gaye the, Doctor ne bola badaa kuch huya hain, operation zaruri hain, saher jana hoga. Boy: (in a little compassionate tone) saher bole to Bangalore? Kyun kya hua hain? Kitna saal ka aapka beta hai…? Man: (almost breaking down) 10 saal saab. Ab pata nahin, kaise hoga yeh sab, usne bola, nahin bachega manju aur jyada din. Woh ek hi sahara hain hum logo ka. Ek hi hain…
“Muttering these words, he slowly went back to his blackened stove, sat down, and stared blankly at the feeble flame waiting for the water to boil. An obscure halogen bulb hides the tiredness of all the sunrises left behind. They have a ten year old kid, terminally ill.”
We were so taken aback, by his last words, that we didn’t know how to console him, neither did we know of any way, of how to help him.
They have one dream. Someday their son will have strong enough, to assist them to their second childhood.
They live each day. They live their dream.
And ever after:
They will soon be forgotten. I will never know the end of this dream.
—- Written on the night of 15th January 2005.
Realizing the dream: Today Again:
It has been almost 4 years since we left college, friends have parted, and so have hearts. Year 2010, I had this yearning desire to visit Bangalore once again and catch up with old friends and foes, walk the old memory lanes, reminiscing the talks that we cried and laughed over, finding life all over again. So I went. Yes things have changed, as expected. The man, wife and tea stall forgotten. I stopped by their shop for a cigarette; same faces a little wearier due to age. I couldn’t muster up the courage to talk to them about their son. I don’t why, but there was a tremendous sense of guilt in me that forbade me to ask anything.
I came back, the next day discontent with myself, but content with life. I knew, for thousands like them, who doesn’t have anybody, must have God by their side. And also, the biggest battles of life are fought and won alone.
This post was written for the cause of: Am too busy to care, but want to do something.
http://www.jaagore.com/blog/teeee2-beeeeeep-teee2-csee and http://www.blogadda.com/ are helping me do my bit for the society.