“I’ll drop Suju to his boarding school on my motorbike. Reema will assist me in running our grocery shop.” Krishna lost in his colorful imagination lying on the cemented ‘chautari’.
The Sun was slowly setting down the horizon. By that time, he had not managed to procure eggs and pulses, which Reema had asked him to get it for their only child, Suju. The chirping of birds returning to their nests distracted him. Krishna disheartened.
He was supposed to take food to his family after he returned from the furniture shop, where he works.
It had just been a week since he received his salary. But, it was already consumed, with which he bought Reema a new sari and a cycle for Suju. The amount to be paid to the shop has already mounted and the shopkeeper had warned Krishna to deal only in cash.
Krishna, with a dreadful face, stepped towards the shop with only a 50 rupees note in his pocket. Krishna didn’t have enough money to buy what he was supposed to. He asked the shopkeeper to give him a kilogram of pulses and 5 eggs, showing the 50 rupees note he had.
The shopkeeper grumbled that the money is insufficient for what he wanted to buy. Krishna, after handing him the money, requested the shopkeeper to add the remaining money to his account. The shopkeeper denied. With a heavy heart, he reached home with just a couple of eggs and half a kilogram of pulses.
There were only two eggs for the family of three. It was Krishna who didn’t eat. Maybe his paunch was packed with some other stuff. Maybe with poverty?
That night, Krishna’s mind quizzed. He asked a lot of questions to himself, but in reply, silence followed the tears. Krishna consoled himself, saying “Good days will come”, but suddenly raises a question within as to “When will they come?”
Had his father saved the land and property, he could have spared this suffering. His father died of liver failure a years ago due to excessive consumption of alcohol. What little savings he had were spent on the treatment of his alcoholic father. That was the money he had saved to pursue the dream to fly to Qatar and earn a decent living for his family.
The night was passing miserably for Krishna. Tomorrow, he has to buy healthy food, full of protein, for his little son Suju.
Suju was not as strong as other kids. He has been suffering from growth hormone deficiency since he was 3 years old. Krishna’s promise to buy her mistress a necklace seemed to fade from his memory. It was on her last birthday, he had promised. But he could only afford a sari with his money.
At 11:43 PM, Krishna wrapped out Khukuri cigarette and pushed himself towards the balcony. The very first puff of cigarette warmed his cold heart but did not last long. The last smoke mixed up with the clouds and anguish, making him heartsick. He usually hears to clattering on the first floor, but that was not quite enough to distract his mind that was full of frustration. He gets lost in his thoughts suddenly.
“What about my dream of going to Qatar and opening a grocery store after I return?….What about my dream of buying a motorcycle and dropping my son to his boarding school on the motorbike?”…..One after the other, these questions arose in his mind. And, they seemed to never end.
His alcoholic father had sold away all their lands to pay the debt, even the slightest gleam of hope dimmed with all his land sold. Given his schooling only till the 6th standard, a decent job was hard to come by. He has been earning meals for his family with his chore of splinting the logs in a furniture shop. Neither Reema was that literate to get a five-figure income monthly.
Reema had been working as a peon of the school near their house. She somehow manages a little money by working all day to assist her husband, Krishna.
The roof could not seal the water as it started to drizzle. A little drop of water splashed on Krishna’s wrist. He pulled himself back to get rid of those water droplets. It was 1:10 AM already.
By that time, the whole world was supposed to be in a pleasant sleep, dreaming. Checking a cigarette in his pocket, he rested himself on the floor. The little drizzle was turning into a rainstorm with time. It had been 5 years since he last repaired his house.
Every summer, their family of three shared a single bed on the ground floor to avoid the disturbance caused by the rain and the hailstorm upstairs. The rain was getting heavier followed by the hailstorm.
Despite the turmoil in the background, Krishna felt lost in silence. He drew out the last stick of cigarette from his pocket to control his annoyance. But, how can a cigarette resist the ache felt in his senses? The water drops falling in front of him fuelled his trauma, increasing his urge to repair the roof.
“How can I manage to fix this rusty house?” he asked self, with another question overshadowing the previous one. How can I think of repairing the house when there’s no food to eat tomorrow? he mourned.
The cigarette had already stopped generating smoke, but the questions in his mind never stopped arising.
“Suju will grow up one day. He must have a good education to compete with people around the globe. He may even demand a motorcycle when he grows up.”…..One after another, these thoughts bothered him.
The clock struck 4:00 AM. Krishna, wiping the tears with his old muddy shirt, stood on his feet. Lights were getting turned on all over. He trudged aiming for his bed.
Now, he has to sleep well and strive in the early morning in order to feed his son, Suju and wife, Reema.
Now, its already 7:00 AM! Myna’s chirping sounded as an alarm. As usual, he woke up after the sharp tone struck his ears.
The Sun has risen along with his hope. Krishna strides towards the furniture shop, as usual, bidding a good-bye to his loved ones.
Story Written By:
Student by Profession,
Well written, Gautam! If anyone wants to share any stories, articles send email to email@example.com!