I was sulking, like I usually do a lot whenever I am in a big writer’s block, and was off to a very common more of a hangout market with my mom because I just had a sudden desire to have deep gulps of hot sambar (which I tell you is very difficult because all you end up with in first few spoons is the steam. Then you try again and bravely dip your mouth nearer to the spoon and you burn your lips and/or your tongue.). So, I was sulking and walking and probably not feeling good about even the sun that I had seen in four days after the bad pollution that has covered Delhi skies these days.
So, I should probably state it beforehand that I hadn’t written anything in the past two months and I feel miserable. Feels like something sleeping hard inside while all your sleep has been sucked away with worries and I was literally moving off my sleep cycle and probably have started looking like a zombie.
Now that I was walking without actually looking at anything and appreciating anything around me, my mom spotted the smallest mobile accessories mobile shop (the first mobile was the cell phone and the second mobile was because the shop was a movable one). Out of nowhere, she remembered that she had ordered a leather (pseudo leather) mobile cover case for hers as well as mine and had been two months since she ordered.
I told her it has been a while for that and he might not even remember it. Or maybe he will but I seriously didn’t feel like standing on a roadside counter bargaining for the mobile cover case. But moms don’t listen to their kids and my mom has never broken that moms-nazi-rule.
So she turned to the guy and looked at him. The guy, who was just twenty or something, looked at her and smiled a three-thirty volts smile and suddenly boomed at her.
“Finally. I thought, auntyji, you will not come to take that cover.” The lanky boy from the shop who promised the cover cases to my mom was there fortunately and he remembered her well.
“I have been here like twenty times past two months and you weren’t here any of the time. You know I haven’t even bought the covers from anyone. So do you have it?”
“Yes, auntyji. I haven’t sold it to anyone. I have kept it aside for you to come and buy it. Just like you told, the black one for didi’s mobile model and blue for yours. See, I even remember exactly.”
“Yes, exactly the same.”
Okay, I had no idea that he’d still be having it, let alone remembering it exactly. I was pretty sure he’d say that because it had been a while, he sold it or anything. While he started browsing all the covers on his counter to find the ones he mentioned, I was looking at the covers intensely. (I have developed this habit of trying to find inspiration in random things just so I can write anything. Maybe the colorful cover cases could have hit me with an inspiration…or plain old just hit me.)
“You weren’t here at all… so I thought maybe you shifted the place for the counter.”
“No, auntyji. Actually, I had my exams. I am in college…so I was studying hard to get my exams done properly.”
“Oh…you study. So very good. What subject?”
“Software.” Wow… the kid was studying software and felt really happy doing it. I was pretty much a half Luddite… that means I generally have to spend more time on technology to understand it.
“That’s very good.”
“You must be thinking if I study software, why am I even doing this work. But, auntyji, I believe if I will work a little, I can help my uncle with this work and make some pocket money for myself. Besides, I don’t think any work is really beneath us. Work is just work.”
“Of course, beta. Work is just work. As long as it isn’t wrong…you are doing good.” My mom sounded genuinely impressed with the kid and to be true, so was I. At least his positivity was infectious.
“Thank you, auntyji. When I will be done with my studies, I am sure I will get a good job. Then I won’t stop and rest till I reach a handsome amount of say a lac per month or more. That will help my family. I am pretty sure, once I am done with my studies, there will be no stopping me. Meanwhile, I can earn something here and even help my uncle and sometimes a little to my family also.”
“Very good. The best thing is that you have all the positivity and hope that you will do good one day.”
The words were catching my mind as I heard the conversation between the lanky boy and my mom. The boy knew everything about the higher population growth rate and the high unemployment rate in the country, but still, he was so positive about his future certain in himself that he would become something one day… that he would be able to help his family the best way he wants to. For that, he was ready to work his way up and take his hardships in a very hopeful manner. Maybe, we, the more privileged ones, we just give up hope very easily. We are so much habitual of our privileges that little hardships make us feel bad about ourselves. But we should know that everyone is facing the hardships in their lives… But the ones that lose their hope easily, they are the ones that need to be stronger. It is difficult to hold on when the flow is in the wrong direction, but that is the best test of our power.
Suddenly, I felt that the starting of winters felt a little cozy this morning and the shine in the sun was trying to get stronger even behind the pollution cover. There was a bowl full sambar that was whispering my name in the waft that was falling in my nostrils (to be true, it was three bowls) and I felt making it wait was a crime I didn’t want to commit anymore. Whether I got an inspiration or not, I felt I was inspired a little and felt a hope rising. A hope that said, “I’d soon be able to rise back again.”
Copyright: Lipi Gupta, 11/02/2018, 21:28 IST