He looked lost in the traffic around him. But even through his tearful eyes he sold coloring books for some money. After a few nods he could finally find someone whom he could convince. He then would go to a place and hide to count the money he had just earned. He himself never learnt to count. After all he was just 7years old. It didn’t matter to him how much money he had but what was more convincing to him was the amount of coins that were with him. If someone would pay him a note of Rs.10 he thought it was not as valuable as much as someone who paid him the same Rs.10 in ten coins. I saw him struggle arranging all the money under the flyover. And sitting profusely restless in the heat of the sun in an auto rickshaw, this little boy had the power to aberrant my mind towards him.
As I still sat watching the kid carefully, I noticed another boy; someone who was almost 15-16years old was heading towards him. The boy was tall, plump and also seemed a little scary. Looking at him, the little boy ran away. I was left utter confused. And the signal turned green. My rickshaw started on its way to Thane. The lovely wind blew over my face and I was relived. Just then, after a few meters away, I seen a mob gathered around. It didn’t seem the usual one, so I ordered the rickshaw driver to stop. He refused in Marathi, saying “Kai tai, he tar nehmichach asta, thokla asel koni bhekarya mulala”. He meant to say that this is an everyday scene. Someone might have hit a beggar. I sat astonished. I prayed, hoping it was not that little boy. Even though I didn’t know him, I knew that there was something that the kid had in him, something unusual.
I stopped the rickshaw and ran with curiosity towards the mob; following me was the rickshaw driver. My prayers were not answered, it was the same boy, still breathing hard and trying to wake up. All the coloring books he had were shattered all around him as he fell helpless. I picked him up and took him to a nearby hospital in the same rickshaw. He had lost a lot of blood but I was happy he was alive. After a few hours he came to conscious. And I decided to meet him.
The very moment he saw me he smiled. My eyes filled with tears as I sat beside him. I learnt a very heart taking story from him. He was the only child who was thrown out of the house to earn money. He wanted to study, he told me he liked music and danced in every wedding band that played in the hall near by. But he knew money was more important than his desires & likings. The bruises on his tender hands that he showed me were of iron heated rods that his step brother who ran behind him for money gave him if he didn’t hand over the money. And as his eyes filled with pain, drew towards me, my heart was touched. I wanted to hand over his step brother to the police when the kid spoke to me maturely and told me not to do so. He told me he had forgiven his brother and so should I.
I was on my way for an interview, when I met this boy. Today he lives with me. I call him Raj. He is accomplishing his chemical engineering. That day I had learnt a lesson from a 7year old boy, a lesson of forgiveness & simplicity. He made my life colourful.