Thank you for being here , I assure you it’s worth your time. 🙂
As I blink, I feel the hot tears making contact with my cheeks. “your cheeks are so cute and soft” I recall being told, by the Salon attendant when I go for my customary grooming appointment every month. “well ! see them now, all stained with tears, does it still look cute to you, eh?” and I scoff at the remark made by the chatter box fitted inside my skull.
“You are a slave of your so called determination, impervious to any correction! Why can’t you stop staring at the screen? Doesn’t that red itchy eye bother you? what if that turns chronic ? Your parents are not millionaires and neither are you yet! shut the bloody screen down!” The chatter box shouts.
Another tear hits the pages of my notebook, smudging the recent ink. I close my eyes tightly and place my palms over them. Yes! that’s some good relief. Finally, I condone and click on the little red cross mark on the top right corner of the screen. A message pops up ” Do you want to quit the practice?”
As soon as I register and comprehend the message, memories start flowing in like water flows from a broken dam and takes me 9 years back, like always ! so, can I call myself a time traveler now? Anyway, I see through the eyes of the twelve year old me, who is returning from school. Oblivious to the world, completely lost in my reverie I am walking along the footpath making my way amidst the crowd of sweaty school kids. At that very moment, I hear a kid talking about “Palak Paneer” (cottage cheese in spinach gravy) and that makes me wonder about what excuses should I make today to avoid eating lunch, in case it’s something I don’t like? Scrupulously, I scan every option only to pick the most cliched one “tummy ache”and a devilish grin curves across my face. Pleased with my innocent excuse I come to a clearing and part with the crowd to walk alone the deserted lane, when, I feel a little hand tugging at my skirt. On looking down, I see a pretty but untidy five-seven year old girl. Sunken cheeks stained with tears, dirt and sweat complemented with unwashed hairs rambling on her little forhead. But wait! that’s not it! She is bare feet too! In the treacherous summers of Delhi, “don’t her feet burn?” . My self talk is soon broken by her voice “Bhook lagi hai” and while pointing to her mouth and tummy she starts crying loudly clenching at the tip of my skirt.
“Kabse nahi khaya?” I ask as I bend down to level with her, I feel nothing but blankness filling my head. She shows two fingers while hiccoughing. “Do din se? ” I ask again and she nods. Immediately opening up my bag and taking out my tiffin, For the first time I feel grateful about neglecting my lunch and feasting on my friend’s Maggi. I open it up and handover the four toasts kept i it. She takes them with the respect with which one takes prasaad and sits down, right there, unwrapping the foil starts munching on the bread.
My vision is blurred with water filing my eyes, on the feeling of complete helplessness as giving left-over toasts don’t seem enough anymore. I want to give her shoes and clothes and books!. The little girl seems oblivious to my tear drop that just fell on her arm for she is too busy quenching her fire. I turn around and start walking, my vision still blurred and I see another tear drop falling on the touch pad of my laptop.
The “Do you want to quit the practice?” message still popping care-freely on the screen. “this discomfort is nothing compared to what many little kids are facing on the street right now, in this heat ! Isn’t that the reason you want to earn good? so that you never feel so helpless again?” I ask the chatter box.
After thinking for a while, chatter box answers
“Let’s go back to studying, we will make this world a better place someday, we must not stop till then”
I put some eye drops and take a small break before clicking on the “No” button and continuing my study to another 2 hours as was decided in my schedule !
That incident is carved on the walls of my heart, reminding me every moment that by giving me the gift of a prosperous life by being born into a well-off family, mother nature has given me a responsibility to make this world a better place. I must not be selfish and live only for myself.
Since that incident, I have never turned down a hungry stomach except for the times when I am absolutely helpless. It is my biggest happiness, my greatest satisfaction to see someone’s hunger satisfied. Without a doubt, I can say that nothing has given me so much happiness and positivism in my 21 years of life more than those innocent smiles on receiving an ice-cream instead of the usual thrashing and shooing away.
Being a student I haven’t made a lot of money yet, but whatever I have, from my savings and my stipends , most of them are given away with utmost dispassion or I’d rather say with at most compassion either to other family members for their needs or to charity. My expenses being limited to books only.
As stated in the fistful of Wisdom “Find a cause Bigger than yourself and you’ll never lack inspiration”
I urge you too to do this, to not be unkind to those hungry stomachs and I know it’s not possible to always give away stuff, but once in a while Karke dekho bohot acha lagta hai !
On the concluding part, I request you to download this search engine called “seva” Every time you make a search, you contribute in feeding hungry people. The Bowl on the top right corner shows how many meals you have generated till now.
Please Comment below if you are with me in this initiative, let’s spread some smiles for a change 🙂