A short story: Munna’s world
It was a hot and humid afternoon. Droplets of rain wafted in the air and the parapet surrounding the Arabian Sea wore a deserted look. Munna walks clumsily towards the sea- rock, sweating profusely and drained of energy, to rest his legs. In the morning, he lifted heavy sacks to put in the truck as his tiny ten-year-old hand suffered cuts and bruises. His boss paid him an extra 25 rupees on the special day and was happy to pocket 50 bucks. He thought, “At least, my little doll sister, Gudiya, will not be deprived of milk. I will treat her with Parle G biscuit today.” Munna dotes on his three-year-old sister who smiles when she sees him reach their tiny hut. Gudiya always brings a glow on Munna’s face, no matter how tired he is.
Munna sits on the rock and enjoys flinging stones in the water, the spalsh sound makes him serene and peaceful. Suddenly, the air start blowing and his eyes gape on a school book someone has so careless left or forgotten beneath the heavy rocks. He pulls the book with his might, wondering how life would have been if he could go to school. The book was filled with dust. Munna gently wipes the book with his T-shirt.
The wind starts blowing furiously. The book slips from Munna’s hands as he tries to catch hold of his prized possession, running after it, stumbling on the dangerous, giant rocks. The book landed on the pavement, turned dusty again. Munna was panting, wearing a dejected look. He was thirsty and stood in front of the ice-cream walla uncle for five minutes. He thought of buying himself an ice-cream but thought of his sister. The ice-cream wallah shouted at Munna, “Just get out of here and don’t spoil my business.”
A small girl, accompanied by his Mom, run towards Munna, touching his shoulder. She smiles and offers him an ice-cream but Munna moves two steps backward. “Take beta,” her Mom gently says. He readily grabs the ice-cream as the little girl offers him a miniature national flag of India, wishing, “Happy Independence Day.” The mom hands 500 rupee note to Munna. She asks, “Pick your book. Do you go to school?”
Raju sadly says, “No! I work to feed my family.”
The mother hands her card to Munna, “Call me tomorrow. I will meet your parents and teach you once in a week. I am a teacher.”
Mother and daughter waves to Munna before driving away in their Silver-colored Maruti Swift car. Munna smiles to himself and scampers his way to catch a train for home. He waves to small children, proudly displaying their flags on the street. It’s Independence Day. His eyes stumble on the front page headline on Page 1 of Times of India, ‘President makes pledge on I Day that no child is deprived of education in a free India.’ Munna proudly waves his flag to everyone on the street.
Happy Independence day, folks.
Freedom of the mind and soul,
celebrating the spirit of togetherness and inclusiveness.
Let’s believe in the power of One, let’s not deprive any child of education.
Free our mind from conservative mindset, racism and gender-based bias.
Our destiny is not far away.
We shall be free in our thinking,
nobody shall deter us from becoming the world’s super power.
Today, 15 August India celebrates its 68th Independence Day.
Proud to be Indian.
PS: Click on the link to read President Pranab Mukherjee I-Day message to the nation