Her mother wiped a tear off with a dirt-ridden sari, as the girl glued her eyes towards her waiting for a reply.
Why so? She asked again. Why don’t we get to have a house big enough for us to live? Why don’t I get to have a cycle? Or or you a new sari? Why do you have to burn your hands… always on that stupid “choohla”? Why Why??
Her mother again looked at her, looping the end of sari with a finger, as her lap constantly moved up and down, to make her infant son sleep. She bit her lower lip and shook her head, as she heard the same unanswered questions, she avoids every morning, every night.
Just as the little 9-year-old was about to shoot another round of WHYs which pierced like shards of glasses to her mother, a train passed. They didn’t have the luxury enough to afford a home with electricity, hence a house near the railway track. Free light at least (street-lamp).
As the train whooshed, her mother heaved a sigh of relief, at least, a momentary time to think. But, not for long. For that train was soon going to pass, somehow she felt that distinctly annoying shuttering sound of a train a lot comforting than the utter silence that was going to follow.
The girl again looked at her mother. Now silent. Just looking at her infant brother. That hurt her mother even more, as she helplessly looked to her daughter.
“It will change”, that’s all she said. The child cried no more, silently it slept.
It will change she said. The girl glanced at her mother, looking for an explanation.
You see, most of the people get to see the sun only during the day, not even the richest of rich can have the sun for a night. Yes, they have got the mighty moon, but what is more, as compared to the SUN?
Right or not? asked the mother. The girl half-nodded, still trying to figure it out. The only thing the “Sun” reminded her was of the yellow figure she was taught to draw, on the corner of the paper , in her school. So much to call it a school, though. Learning from teachers who only make them realise.Realise each single day that nothing is going to make a difference. That how high they dream and how much they study, their past will always catch up. Making her face darkness in bright sun. Making her feel lonely in the whole lot. Making her realize each day that she would never be like the other half of INDIA. she would always be the tainted half.
I don’t understand, pleaded the child.
“Look up”. The mother said.
“I see nothing”. snapped the child, now turning a little impatient.
Are you sure? Don’t you see the light? All yellow?
God, gave us the sun for ourselves. All for us. said the mother, as she caressed her hand on her daughter’s head and kissed her on the forehead.
The child blinked. Just blinked. Looking at the “sun of night”. She looked at it, as she went into a deep sleep.
This was an attempt of mine to depict the story of various rural families of India.
I would like to add something.
The talk of the sun, of an otherwise helpless mother, gave assurance to the child. Sometimes assurance leads to content. And content to happiness. It is not always so. But that’s the point, one CANNOT be always happy.
Asking for more is Human’s nature.Striving for more is again, Human’s nature. Wanting Happiness is Human’s nature.
The child found something in that yellow light. It was not happiness, NO. It was the absence of sadness.
As I say,
One can only be happy when one understands the fact that one cannot be always happy.