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A Guide

A Guide

8 mins 9.1K 8 mins 9.1K

To the best of times and to the worst of times, a time when everything can be made visible on the tip of your finger- it was the beginning of a romantic era or nothing romanticism exist, I was born in poverty, and I felt all the over the world food is the only need we have – and unlike me every other kid is searching for it all over ever since they are born, my father used to sell kites and other small labour in order to fill our stomach. Hunger was something very usual and never really complained to my father as I saw his struggle each day and every evening when the sun is about to set, he used to sit in a corner count the money whether that will suffice, sometimes or on a festivals when there were more tourists purchasing and his daily count used to exceed, once in a blue moon I get to eat sweets or get toys. My mother took her last breath after giving me a birth that was the only time I saw her I don’t even faintly remember, I wondered whether I was the cause of the pain because I have a big head, I imagine silly things to feel bad about myself –my father never raised hands on me, a man of action who will work to the end of his days to make the ends meet, he didn’t speak much and only it was necessary.

I realised only when someone speaks less you remember their reason behind saying so.

He enrolled me in a small school which was located in the outskirts of the village, 3-4 kilometres stretch every day, on days when I didn’t have proper food, and I used to skip school, he was not educated but somewhere he knew the importance of education, only because of the lack of education we are what we are, some days I recited poetry to him, and his eyes used to sparkle listening to those, while me reciting he used to sleep and his bruised hands used to lay idle there with a nimble texture. as I grew older it became paler, his eyes had dark circles and grey hair not always but sometimes he looked at me and didn’t say anything I thought it must have been hard day for him, in the middle of the night, I heard a noise and to my curiosity I looked around I couldn’t find my dad so I went out and there he was smoking a bidi and looking at the dark consistently , when he heard my footsteps he looked at me and smiled in a way I have never saw him before, in a way it was unknown a complete blessed out person.

My father died on the very next day, but he died while pulling water and his body was found near the well, the time I saw him smiling was the time he actually left his body perhaps I realised, death is different than life but both are tied in two ends. From that day I felt the sadness of being alone, the walls became my enemy every night.

He left money for me, at least I can survive for a year, I kept going to school, hunger and sleeplessness became part of my life. In order to survive I would need to get employed but I was 14 and selling kites like my father would not suffice my need because it has lost its charm over time, many a times I see foreigner, roaming and clicking pictured and guy speaking to them in a didactic way and they nod their head like a hippie.

I felt it, I thought of doing the same so I began to read how my place is different what all the things I can show in order to get money, in fact when I kept looking at the place I have been all my childhood, I was amazed looking at the history behind those monuments being unaware I used to play there all my childhood, there are group of tourist guides who have a license for showing around, when I entered to get tourist that’s what I heard from them , I got into a tussle with one of them, who kept saying “ Go and sell kites” I had no business sense neither I was interested so I went back home.

The next day, one of the members whom I recognised was my father’s friend and he even came to meet me while I was way young, he told me he can get me into this and that’s how my journey began for a tourist guy, I gained popularity among other fellows , I was pretty much-doing good I bought a bike which I dreamed of while going to school , the roads were not even a road it was a lane , I walked barefoot on those, towards the lane there was a mango tree ,I used to take refuge and ate mangoes alone I was reluctant to share with others I remember Anjali – she helped me with my shoes in our school they can’t us let us inside without shoe or a chappal on, Anjali helped me to get a chappal which she stole from her elder brother , she even got beaten up but she never told me, it was her secret which I later got to know from her mother.

I was in 8th grade when I saw tears , that was the first time I saw a girl crying in front of me , she called me out in the shade of the mango tree, she pulled out a mango from her pocket which perhaps she saved only for me , I took the mango and ran home without even noticing she was there standing alone crying, after running for few meters I looked back something similar this never happened to me, at that moment she looked at me our eyes locked and just for a moment I deep sorrow on those eyes, just as those feeling was new but it was beautiful, something you don’t read about its there just experimentally not as a thought.

Anjali’s father got a transfer to Delhi I even heard she was looking for me when they were departing, I was busy on the fields catching a dragonfly perhaps who knows

After 18 years.

I was on the field with the new tourists and suddenly I heard a familiar voice, a voice I liked.

And there she was, wearing a Kurti and toned jeans, I remember her eyes it was brown and I felt it was different .her smile , the kind of smile in which one can wait for a lifetime, she looked beautiful.

To my surprise I fumbled while speaking to her, I stretched my hands to say hello, she pulled me closer and hugged me – I was embarrassed but I liked it , from her shoulder bag she pulled a mango and gave me , we both giggled remembering the old days .

She became an engineer and there I was a tourist guide, she came back to see her old friend ,I still had the same feeling with her, the inexplicable look and uncomfortable sense sometimes is beautiful,

I asked Anjali, did you even remember me?

She smiled and avert the topic to something else,

Her father passed away last year and her mom wanted to see her getting married, on the other hand, she didn’t see her herself getting married so early, while she was eloquently describing I kept looking at her , I felt something unusual the way she spoke.

We kept walking on the same lane, it was cold and she kept talking without realising where we headed.

I stopped for a moment and saw her speaking alone, I felt something, which I never felt before.

I believed it was love, but perhaps a one-sided at least that’s what thought at those moments.

That night I imagined how beautiful life will be with the same time, there was an epiphany, I am tourist guide who stays in a small barrack with no family and there she was, an engineer, she earns more in a day what I earn in a year, this imbalance gave me a reality check and shut my heart out.

The next morning I saw 10 missed calls from Anjali, I ran to her hotel and saw her wearing a sari walking towards me, I was disgusted, without losing any moment she uttered, I am seeing a guy today.

He is an engineer himself and my mother likes him too, I gave her a fake smile and said it’s wonderful.

In a moment my world collapsed, nobody didn’t do any harm it was just my situation, sometimes life shows you castle only to figure out you stay in a hut.

I did not attend any tourist that day, I was home drenching with my sorrow and playing self- loathing game, I loved her, but that was not enough. She wants a man with a social status someone she can take home and show the society how much I earn.

And there I was, with tattered clothes, my shoe is as old as the dinosaurs and I looked like a hippie in the mid 60’s.

She sent a text stating how awful that guy is, and that very text gave me enough courage to get and dance, that’s exactly what I did – somewhere I was headed with this paranoia which is called “Love”

While dancing I accidentally stepped on one of my father’s picture which I kept last night, and I broke it in two pieces unknowingly, I realised what my reality is, in a way it made me see who I am, and what my objectives are, he died to work for me and never really asked.

I took Anjali pictures and looked at her for the last time and left for Delhi.

Love stories are not aversion from a successful life,

Not choosing your reality is.

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