Author : Sanjeeb Das
Company : Infosys Limited
“….ma, do you also dream?” asked the little boy to his mother. His mother stunned on hearing this and smiled , asked him “don’t you have one , don’t you sleep?”. The boy kept mum and continued staring his mother as if his intriguing soul wanted to know all the secrets of universe.
The “ifs” and “buts” was his world and the never parting pal of his. He always thought of the tall buildings, men with the coats , the glittering hotels , the children playing in the parks and so on. The laughing riots outside the “Bhola’s chai“ shop always made him smile and wonder if he could be one of them . But the dear “GOD” whom his mother always referred as the “upparwala” had some other plans for him. He used to smile whenever he prayed and his mother would be puzzled upon seeing him doing this. The poor were never meant to smile in this society!, that was the dilemma of this so called progressive world. The happiness was always for them who had the money and who could afford to “smile”.
Soon came the voice, “Come munnu, the dinner is ready”. Mere handful of rice and a boiled potato was a feast for them. Munnu came, washed his hands and sat for the dinner.
“Ma, won’t father come for the dinner”, asked munnu with his lowful voice.
“You eat, he will come late” said his mother.
He thanked God and started eating his dinner. As soon as he finished his dinner, there came a knock on the door. He quickly went to open the door, and found his languid father at the doorsteps. “Oye munnu, had your dinner?” asked his father. “yes father!” said munnu. Munnu went and washed his hands and sat near his father.
“Father are you tired today?” asked munnu to his father. “Do you want to work with me?” asked his father with a grin. “Yes father, I will go and work with you” ardently said munnu and that brought tears into his father’s eyes but pretended to smile.
“Munnu, why are you smiling my boy? Did your God say anything to you? “, his mother asked with a teasing smile after the boy finished his night prayer.
The boy shied away without saying anything and went to the terrace to sleep. The night had taken its glory everywhere, so peaceful and so scary at the same time. Munnu stared at the stars, and got preoccupied with his thoughts. There could be chirps of some birds still heard and the people at the ferry ghat made their presence in this prevailing silence of the darkness. The ferry ghat wasn’t far from the bastii where the intriguing little boy lived. He laid down on his bed and wondered how beautiful it would be if I could touch the stars and come back. The very thought made him smile and just kept staring the stars. The clouds and the bats danced in the darkness with the moon watching them. The boy just kept wondering and just got lost in his world, maybe what we call it as “sleep”, but for him it was his world of small things, the world of his own, world of his wishes.
The dreams were not just mere dreams but a playhouse of emotions and wishes for him. Fortunately it doesn’t cost a penny to watch a dream for the poor, something which they can call as their own.
“Ma, I will go to school from tomorrow” prompted munnu with joy. His mother nodded her head in assertion. Munnu was so delighted that he had no bounds of his happiness. He just ran the whole place as how the new born calf would run after seeing the green fields, and told everyone about his admission in school. “Ma can you please ask dad to bring my books faster, I want to read them all!” pleaded munnu.”You see, I would study hard and be like that black coat babus and we will also have a T.V in our home which he was always fascinated about.” saying audaciously all this to his mother. His mother just kept watching his little son and had tears in her eyes. The pain of poverty is only known to the people who just live in it. The whole neighborhood had known about his admission in the school. Then finally the day had come when munnu would get ready and go to school with his friends. And then suddenly something unexpected happen. Some words just minced in munnu’s ears.
“Wake up munnu”, shouted his mother. The sun had embraced the world with its smile and the birds have already started their journey, but still munnu was busy in his thoughts of his small world.
“Let me sleep ma, just for few more time”, pleaded the sleepy eyes. The little didn’t want to leave his ecstasy and greet the miserable world of the truth and sorrow. But the curtains had fallen and the play had ended. Munnu looked up to the sun and just kept mum as if he had lost his “something”.
Lucky are those who live their dreams. Munnu would everyday just wait for the sun to set and begin his voyage of dreams in the tranquil nights…