Chugga chugga choooo! I am the engine. I am definitely the engine. The track might be too wide for me but I won't stop. I want to enjoy the view as I pace through to my destination. The steady bogie holding my bag will make sure I never get off-track. It carries the burden of my books, also my life but just for now. Once I become capable of this track, I will make sure the burden is shifted to the engine so that the bogie can also enjoy the view they always wanted after such long time..
The excruciating pain of the long labour vanished the moment Shubhdra took her newborn daughter in her arms. Her eyes gleamed with dreams of her daughter achieving all that she couldn't. She knew she didn't have much time. She kissed Aasha, held Murali's hand and smiled.
"I'd promised I'll never leave you alone. I've kept my promise. Now... ," she couldn't complete her sentence but Murali knew what she wanted to say.
Every day when Murali takes Aasha to school holding her hand, he keeps his promise. Shubhdra never left him. She always walks ahead like a guiding light..
I am a ten year old girl. I get nightmares. A lot. All blood red in colour. I scream in my sleep. My parents also screamed and fought till the last breath when the caste mob attacked and threw their mutilated bodies on the railway track. Somehow I survived. You might have read about the honour killing of a married inter-caste couple. That’s my papa and mummy. Listen, I go to school crossing the same blood-stained railway track every day. It lies so close, but parallel to my life. This is my story. And I wrote it for the class assignment ‘happy family’. .
I clasped her hand a little too tightly, not wanting to let go. Pia, I am going to miss you so much. Every time I look at her, she gives me a very reassuring smile and hugs me. I have to tell her that I am leaving tomorrow. Days of loneliness and desolation await me. I know that I have some peculiarities, quintessential of an aging man. But don’t we all have our own inadequacies and idiosyncrasies? As I stooped to kiss her forehead, she turned to me with a despondent face and asked innocuously, “When is your train, dada”?.
There is nothing that haunts you more than a frightening memory. A memory of the past that has clutched onto your mind. A memory you are not willing to let go of. This little memory of mine starts like any other, with me walking down a railway track with my tiny hand in my dad's. But something bad happened that particular day. Something that cannot be forgiven. There was blood and glass and indescribable objects in that fraction of a second. We never knew the train track was open on that day. One push saved me but the rest is a blur. I thought this would never happen..
Rohan: Why do we have to do this? Why can't I be a farmer like you?
Murali: Son, because I want to give you what I never got and I hope you find what you love to do there.
Rohan: But I just love playing with you.
Murali: Now don't complain for all the good things in life!
Rohan: I don't wanna leave your hand. I'm scared.
Murali: That's why I want you to go. When you come back and I'm 50, hold my hand; I would be scared then..
"Nice shot there Sid! This will make a perfect cover shot for the campaign in print-media."
"Thank you boss! Right to education is critical today. Charity begins at home, right?"
The promotion was a massive success. Educating the next generation was going to bring in a massive paradigm shift, but that would take time. If change had to come in today, it was imperative to educate the older folks too; those that resist change today.
I watched as my daughter accompanied her grandpa to school. He enjoyed her company and she, his. They would surely enjoy education this way..