Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Drought

As far as his sight could go, there was nothing but a drought..
A drought of what he assumed was his life . Meaningless, without any motive ,living without a reason. Just plain survival .Every day was a battle, a battle with his own self….. a battle with the rest of the world……a battle that he knew would never end .But he also knew, that he had to fight for every second that came his way ,struggle for every breath .Being born into this world and then getting abandoned just like that ,is one of the worst things that could happen to anyone .It is like planting a flower which u recently bought from the nearby nursery, and crushing it the next moment without giving any thought to how it would have adorned your garden .Ajay had eventually learned it and accepted the fact that fairy tales only existed in books…..Peter Pan was just a creation of J.M.Barrie, and there were no fairy god "mothers" in the real world.
It was one of those days when he had had nothing to eat…the kind woman who lived around the corner and used to offer food to him…..not because of pity ,but more because, she saw in him his dead son who had died when he was 6, was out of town...and there was no one else in this world who would empathize with him…..take pity on him for any reason...
When the hunger was unbearable, Ajay had to put his guard down .He went out, searching for something on which he could lay his hands on .He didn't mind stealing ,snatching or any of those things that this society frowned upon .For him there were no rules ,this society never took to him and he never took to the rules of this society.
At a distance he saw the local chat shop .He had stolen from that place a couple of times before ,got caught once too ,but with no other alternative ,Ajay decided to go for the kill .He had to do it .The hunger was driving him crazy . The expression, helplessness was mocking him, and was gleefully resting on his face. He was too proud to ask someone for something, so stealing was the only option left for him .He went slyly around the corner to the backside of the shop where there was a tiny window. He checked…..there was no one looking behind…..he extended his hand to get anything he could reach for .Bulls eye it was for him!! He managed to reach to a packet of bread .And slowly and steadily he tried to withdraw his hand with the packet still in his hand…..
One of the customers noticed it….she yelled.."chor..!!!"..the chatwala turned back…..saw the hand withdrawing and disappearing ..his servant ventured out of the shop and went towards the direction where he had seen the little boy disappear ."The boy has not learned anything from the last beating ", he mumbled under his breath .With rage in his disgusted eyes, the servant strolled the dirty road, and he looked everywhere but couldn't find the boy .Finally after an hour of searching he gave up.
Ajay was hiding in the basement of a nearby building from there he could see the servant retrieving back to the shop .It was time for him to go back to his abode and enjoy his meal for the day. A hard earned or rather well earned meal ,or so he thought .He had hardly started his walk back to his shack ,his home ,that a boy about his age came like a lightning from nowhere and snatched the bread packet from his hands and started running .Ajay being more agile and a natural sprinter ,without wasting any moment chased him, pinned him down  and snatched the packet back from him .He was about to hit the boy when that boy pleaded and begged. He told him that he was an orphan and had had nothing to eat that day .The intense hunger had resulted in him snatching the packet from Ajay..
Ajay could see his reflection in that boy .He held back his blow, still in midair....inches from touching that boy's face .He felt sorry for that boy and without caring much and saying much he offered half of the bread loafs ,took the boy back to his shack and asked him to stay with him henceforth.
Minutes before sleeping Ajay had these thoughts…. he wasn't alone in this world .There were others like him too….and in even worse conditions .He thanked god for more reasons than one - in spite of being an orphan there was this lady who took care of him ,all his limbs were still intact and he was able to do some work every now and then and stayed afloat..and finally for providing him a friend and making him experience a new feeling of friendship…..he wasn't alone in this battle of his… one ever is .Sooner or later you always find someone to bear and share your burdens and make this world a slightly better place to live in .For Ajay clouds had finally started to take varied shapes…….and finally the drought was beginning to end!!

~ Varun Dhingra PGDM 2012

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