We don’t even know anything about what going to happen next and we plan for future. This is general human tendency and kid was not the exception.
Without noticing what loss is incurred the kid was busy in his own world of thoughts. That was summer vacation time and NANI Ji had to come along with KID to drop him to MA. That was a bigger city as compared to NANA’s city. Flat system, record player, cricket ground just in front of the flat, extreme heat, double bed, all was new for KID and he enjoyed the music throughout the day without noticing NANI Ji going with tears in her eyes. KID had no value for love and affection NANI had for him. That night KID could not sleep as he was missing the smooth finger movement on his back which NANA Ji used to give him till he is slept along with bed time stories which NANI Ji used to tell him. The catching smell of wet soil and all those sweet memories caused a drop of tear in the eyes of KID when he went to sleep. “Always take care of your MA. Never hurt her. She have you as her only support.” KID could hear the loud massages from NANI Ji and NANA Ji. KID was no more a kid.
In the morning the sound of BHAJANS was not there which used to come from nearby temple at NANA Ji’s home. MA had to go to school. While sleeping KID heard her sound “Breakfast is ready. I’ll be back by noon for lunch. Don’t make too much mess while I am out.” That was a massage to SIS. KID was missing the wake up song from NANA Ji “UTH JAAG MUSAFIR BHOR BHAI, AB RAIN KAHAN JO SOWAT HAI. JO SOWAT HAI SO KHOWAT HAI, JO JAAGAT HAI SO PAWAT HAI.” KID woke up remembering that song from NANA Ji and that was his first day in a new world. A world where SIS was busy with her friends, MA was overburdened with the household and school work for survival and Rakesh (Krishna for sudaama KID) was not there. Confused about what to do KID memorized the school prayer, “ITNI SHAKTI HAME DENA DAATA, MAN KA VISHWAAS KAMZOOR HO NA. HUM CHALAIN NEK RASTE PE HUMSE, BHOOL KAR BHI KOI BHOOL HO NA.”
It was the time to get admission in new school. The option to get admission in MA’s school was there but KID didn’t want to get any special treatment in his MA’s name. Thus he decided to go for other option and that day for the first time KID traveled with an unknown person in a local bus for nearby school visit. Though the KID didn’t knew anything about the school but a unique smell of the school building, the moist climate inside the school, the rope of ladders, its touch had some unknown attraction. Thus the school was finalized.
“Which school you prefer.” Asked MA.
“Yashoda” replied KID
“This is partiality. I am studying here in 25 paisa fee school and BHAI will go to seven rupee fifty paisa fee school. When I ask for change of school you say you can’t afford the high fee and now you can afford for BHAI” SIS submitted her observations.
What does this all mean? KID was confused. But with interruption by MA the things were resolved and KID got the admission in Yahsoda Middle School.
The first day in school was a very strange experience. The pure Hindi speech by class teacher Mrs. Sarla Bhatnagar went like a rocket above forehead. The friendly and caring attitude of teachers was not totally converted in result oriented, forceful implementation style of teaching. Just remember as the teacher say without knowing the meaning. Score in exam matters and not the meaning. Only two groups were there. One of intelligent students and other of naughty and totally spoiled rich students. There was no group to suit KID. All alone in this strange world KID was trying to survive and know the real face of world. The world from which NANA Ji and NANI Ji always tried to hide KID.
One day while walking on the road in front of the school in recess time KID looked upside to ask the almighty for support when he saw a cute girl standing at the roof of school building. KID could see her smile clearly from there. There was the reason to come school for KID and the name of that reason was ANUJ. She used to live in a posh colony near KID’s home and used to commute by local bus.
Two years passed when SANJAY met KID at the bus stop near his home. Sanjay was not a new face for KID. He was from a group of children whom KID always tried to avoid for no known reason. That day both met formally and KID was surprised to know that KID also joined the same school and from now KID had a classmate whom he could talk. Next day Sanjay invited KID to visit his home.
“Who is he? Where he lives? Which family he belongs?” that was a chain of questions from aunty ji. (Sanjay’s mother)
“OK, wash your hands before you enter the home.” A straight forward direction which kid was not familiar.
“Who is there.” That was a question from Anju. (Sanjay’s Sister)
“Sanjay, is she your sister. I know her.” Said KID.
That day KID got four persons added to his life. A friend, a sister and their parents who loved KID as their own child. By the passage of time that relation was going to be stronger and stronger.
Now the studies were not painful as KID had Sanjay to accompany and Anuj as attraction. KID found something in ANUJ which was beyond any definition or explanation. She was the one before whom KID was always nervous. Though KID and ANUJ didn’t use to talk to each other. They were not friends at all but KID always felt some attraction resulting in wish to see her at least once in a day. KID stopped using departmental vehicle just to follow ANUJ and started commuting by local bus. Always looking towards ANUJ from distance. ANUJ perhaps didn’t even recognized him ever.
One fine day kid noticed ANUJ behaving abnormally. She was perhaps teased by a guy in bus. KID didn’t respond immediately. He just started observing that guy and getting his details. Daily that guy used to sit near ANUJ in bus and follow her till his house. KID started following that guy. He was feeling some pain which forced him to grab that guy and for the first time KID tried to do something which he was never taught. That day the guy crossed his limits and tried to touch ANUJ in the crowded bus. Perhaps that was his daily habit but KID noticed this for the first time and he was very angry. He didn’t say anything to anyone but just followed the guy who followed ANUJ till she reached her house.
BAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGG was the sound of Iron Gate of ANUJ’s house and somehow KID could feel the pain ANUJ was going through. Being followed by someone daily causes discomfort and if this limit is crossed everyone can feel the embarrassment and pain. KID decided to end this pain and as soon as GUY turned back he was shocked to see KID standing against him with anger.
“Who are you?” asked KID
“I I “Guy could not speak.
“Why are you following ANUJ?” again KID asked.
“No I am not following anyone. You are, you are…” again Guy could not speak clearly.
“Look I saw you today in bus doing something which I can’t even speak. This is last and final warning for you. If I ever see you nearby ANUJ you will be responsible for whatever I do. And don’t take it lightly.” KID shouted on GUY and asked him to go away.
GUY nearly ran from there and disappeared. KID looked towards ANUJ’s house expecting her to recognize his action but no one was there. KID went back to his house. That night KID could not sleep properly as from inside he was afraid of next movement from the other side. For next few days the GUY was not following ANUJ. Suddenly after some days KID was surrounded by some unknown faces accompanied by GUY holding a commando knife in his hands.
“You were trying to be a Hero. Now tell me what you will do. Let me tell you who you are, a hero or a coward.” GUY said while grabbing KID from collar.
KID was full of fear and surprise. He could feel the pain and sorrow MA had to go through if anything happens to him.
“GOD is with them who do good things and not with them who do bad.” NANI Ji used to say this always and KID remembered that.
“I did nothing wrong.” Thought KID and courage came inside his heart from nowhere.
“For all of you guys my single slap is sufficient. You might need that knife, I don’t need this piece of iron for my safety. I am bare handedly more than sufficient to handle you all.” Replied KID in loud voice.
“We are warning you not to interfere in his matter.” One of the person accompanying GUY said.
“I will till he don’t stop teasing ANUJ. And today he is with his friends but you will not be with him always.” KID nearly shouted.
The arguments continued long and finally ended on a bout between KID and GUY. Sunday was decided for that like it used to be in Bollywood movies. KID and GUY went their own way and fortunately that SUNDAY never arrived. KID waited long and long for GUY to come at decided place for one to one bout but no one came ever. From that day KID never saw GUY following ANUJ ever.
Despite of the risk, the luck factor and everything else one thing was for sure. KID had now a strong faith on almighty and his existence. This episode increased his belief in super heroes and Hindu deities. He started collecting paper stickers of super heroes and deities. In the absence of his own KRISHNA they were his close mates and all of them used to be present for sharing of feelings inside his almira with study books. Now KID had many friends and LORD SHIVA was he best friend. He used to share all his feelings with him. He used to talk to him for everything and one day KID had a very bad mood. Sanjay was learning to drive scooter and his father was helping him. He was teaching him to drive scooter. KID saw that and somehow felt alone inside. For no reasons that day he was missing his father. KID didn’t have any memories of his father. Whatever he had was from stories he heard from relatives about his father, about his intelligence, his short tamper, his dedication and loyalty for job and everything else. That night KID cried without any tears. While sleeping he had a very memorable dream. He felt himself riding on a huge TRISHOOL of lord SHIVA and flying on Himalyas over ice. That TRISHOOL took him to lord SHIVA. KID grab the feet of lord SHIVA and cried for his associations. KID didn’t want to go back. He bitterly cried till lord SHIVA put his hands on his head and said, “This is not the right time. You had to go back. I am always with you. Don’t feel alone. Go back.” KID felt a shock and found himself back on bed. Lord SHIVA was not there physically but he was there inside. Next day was holiday in school and KID was searching for nothing in house and what he found was unexpected. It was a set of some documents. KID was full of curiosity. He started studying the papers. While he read the papers tears started to flow out. Fortunately there was no one at home to notice his tears. KID kept on studying and while going through the papers he could visualize the things which would have happened at the time of postmortem. He could feel the pain in heart as his father would have felt of heart attack. He could hear the sounds of persons surrounding. The emotions were at their height and so was the flow of tears. After giving about one hour for reading KID tried to cry loudly bot there was no sound in his throat. KID cried long before he started searching for something else. There was something below old blankets at the bottom. A cloth of camel color. KID took it out. It was a camel color rain coat. “Sorely it belongs to my father.” Thought the KID and without giving any time to any other thought he put up the rain coat and closed his eyes. That time he was father himself. Standing on road side with one hand in right side pocket. There was something in right side pocket. It was an old matchbox. Father used that during his last days for lighting his cigarette. KID had the world’s most valuable treasure with him.
Later that day in noon time while KID was busy in his own world with his father a loud voice broke the chain of thoughts.
”What are you doing. You are not serious about your studies. What the people will say. Everyone will blame me. You are so bad in your studies that you will not even pass your exams this year. What is the status of your learning and home work I allotted you before going to school.” That was MA full of anger as KID forgot to study and complete the assignments allotted by MA for the day.
KID was in a bad mood. He could not do anything. He took the book and started studies laying upside down on the floor with the book very near to his face but soon he was back to his own world of thoughts with his father and again he was not studying. MA noticed that and gave a tight slap on the back side of his head.
“What are you doing? You didn’t even turn the page since very long. Are you trying to make a fool of me? Study.” Said ma and went back. She didn’t notice that the impact of slap caused a hit of nose on the book and once again the nose started bleeding.
“No one loves me.” Thought KID and started studying with nose continuously bleeding. KID deliberately hit on his nose every time the bleeding stop and did this till he finished the complete book and ruined every page of the book with his blood. MA could not notice that as she and Sis were taking usual noon nap. That noon after studying KID removed each and every sticker. That noon KID cried and cried only. When it was the time for MA and Sis to wake up KID went outside for cricket. Actually he didn’t play that evening. He went to park near ANUJ’s home and sit there alone till it was dark. Everyone on earth had someone to share except him. He was feeling alone from deep inside.
Suddenly he noticed someone approaching him with one more guy. He was Hari Om, ANUJ’s elder brother coming to KID with his friend.
“Where do BISHNOI live?” KID was surprised to have straight question from Hari Om.
“He lives near my house.” Replied KID with terror.
“Take us to his home. We want to have words with his parents.” Demanded Hari Om with demand as if I have done any crime and he is the police man.
Without knowing the reason. Without thinking why he is asked to do so. Without any thoughts and with a blank mind kid started moving with them towards Bishnoi’s house.
“You know Bishnoi is following my sister.” Said Hari Om
“Why are you telling all this to him? He is his friend and he also is involved in this.” Said his friend.
KID had no idea what all this was going on. He just told them the address and went back. While he was on the way back to his home he saw a shadow in a dark place. That was Bishnoi hiding from Hari Om and his friend.
“Why did you tell them my house?” Bishnoi asked.
“They asked me to.” Replied KID
“I will beat you if anything went wrong.” Said Bishnoi.
“OK” replied KID and went back to his home where MA was waiting for him with the book in her hands the one which KID soiled in noon time.
“What is this? What do want to prove?” asked ma with tears in her eyes.
KID couldn’t see his MA crying as she is the only person on earth for whom he is there. KID didn’t reply anything. Just kept on looking towards MA and learned a lesson, “Before doing anything, think about the results first. The possible impact on and thoughts of others as your life is not only yours, it belong to everyone surrounding you and your family.”
That night kid got the same dream once again where someone pushed him and he was falling from the height of a fort burj.
Next day Bishnoi met KID and told all about what happened last night and it was nothing at all. Hari Om just met his father and requested him to advice Bishnoi not to follow his sister. Bishnoi family was known to them and both parents were familiar with each other. It was nothing to be worried about for Bishnoi and KID was again missing his father. What if his father were with him. He also would have been secured. He also would have been allowed to dare some things. He also would have been this and that and this and that…………………………………….
Exam days arrived and KID passed them. Now he was in class nine. Same year he had to go to his parental village to attend the marriage of his cousin sister. There he met the members of his parental family after a long time. Everyone was eager to talk to him but kid wanted to see the ladders and the roof first from where his MA fall and where his Sister got her feet burned. KID went to the roof and removed his slippers. He tried to feel the heat over the roof with bare foot for some time and while doing so his anger towards his own relatives was increasing. What the family is for if it is not available for your help when you need it.
“What are you doing here? I was searching for you since long and what is this? Why are you standing on such a hot roof bare footed? Wear your slippers.” Said MAMTA the eldest cousin.
“OK.” Replied KID while wearing the slippers.
Both came down and went to the other house where marriage function was on. Somehow KID felt attachment with MAMTA. She was the one who noticed that KID was bare footed though some relatives came to meet him on the roof but that was just a formal hello hi. Those relatives included some elders as well as some cousins of nearly same age group. Meeting relatives was not KID’s piece of cake. He was just trying to collect memories of his Father through various discussions between various relatives. Someone said, “This dining table was arranged by his father.” And KID started searching for the table, sit near it and kept on looking at the table. KID was visualizing his father sitting near him and taking food. KID was happy as he could hear a number of things about his father.
Next day while sitting on a bed under a tree shadow KID felt a soft and innocent touch. That was RADHA trying to escape from a pet (dog) as other children were chasing her holding the chain of angry and continuously barking dog. Perhaps the dog was also enjoying the game of chasing her. KID just stood and took the chain from his cousins. His angry impression was sufficient for warning children.
“Now you may go without panic. They will not tease you.” Said KID
“No, I am afraid of this dog.” RADHA denied to leave KID’s shelter.
“Come here. Touch him, He will not say anything. He will be your friend.” Said KID while asking RADHA to touch the dog on his forehead.
“I don’t want him as friend.” Said RADHA. She was so afraid of the dog that she hold KID’s hand more tightly.
“What if the dog follows you again?” asked KID
“I will hide behind you every time.” Replied RADHA and went back inside.
“HHMMMMMM, what’s going on?” asked MAMTA with a naughty smile on her face.
“I don’t know.” KID replied and went outside the house walking on the rode feeling the togetherness with his father as this was the same road where his father would have walked many times.
After return from the family function KID had no interest in studies. He started skipping the school and staying at home. At home he used to study the report again and again and …………………………
The story didn’t last long. Soon he got typhoid and KID suffered for nearly one month. After recovery from typhoid he was very week. He could not even stand for long. Pressure of studies was also there as board exams of middle school level arrived. KID didn’t finish the syllabus either and that was the worrying MA who was afraid of the results. KID could not concentrate on studies due to the weakness as well as stories running consistently in his back of mind about his father and his memories. During his Home town visit KID gathered a lot of information in piece meal about his father. Now he was busy in gathering all those information and form his own image of his father with a story of his father’s life. He was supposed to fail the final exams as he could not score passing marks in his pre board internal school exams.
Now it was the time for MA to take lead once again. She got involved with KID in his studies. That time MA used to read the books and KID used to hear her. That was the way for KID’s studies and exam preparations. Time also paid for dedication and contributions given by MA and KID passed the board exams. Though it was no the acceptable result still KID managed to score second division with maximum contribution of English language exam where KID scored the highest marks in his class. While going through the results KID thought about the day when he spoiled the syllabus book by his own blood.
Pre admission vacation period came when MAMTA came to KID’s home for fifteen days. Those days were very painful to KID as he could not spend time with papers as there was always someone at home and with KID. Those days KID developed a strong emotional bonding with MAMTA who was from the eldest of his generation and had some extra information of nearly two months stay of his father at their home. KID tried to spend as much time as possible with her to gather maximum information about his father and he was not turned down at all.