Rikshawala3 mins 1.5K 3 mins 1.5K
I remember every detail of that day, it was one of the coldest winter evenings of Kanpur city. winter and my youth were on its prime best.
The fog had taken charge of the city.
You don't have to go to the farthest end of the earth to live and find mysteries when the corner of your street is foggy, mysteries mysteriously travel towards you.
But my mind was fogged by love, as I was married only two months back and it was our first new year together, so I wanted to celebrate it and have an elaborate dinner at a hotel.
My husband who is not antisocial but selectively social he who always likes to sit in the coziness of the home, eating and watching a movie at home is priceless for him. But as someone has said marriage is a relationship of two imperfect people refusing to give up on each other,so my husband had to give up his cosy evening moments.
I dressed up in my best red attire all decked uploaded with gold bangles, mangalsutra, big gold jhumkas, I must have looked like a mannequin at a gold shop, tempting people to buy more gold. My husband looked at me with a big disapproval but couldn't muster the courage to say anything seeing my enthusiasm and smile.
We headed towards the main road and waited for the transport.
The town was painted red ,overwhelmed by sale billboards,shops were extravagantly decorated. Roads were misty and foggy and full of surprises as you don't know what is beyond that fog.
We waited for 15-20 minutes but no tempo or taxi came, I could find a shy smile on my husband's face which he was trying hard to conceal. We had no choice but to return.
But suddenly we figured out something moving towards us. With the creaking sound of the wheels, a rickshaw stopped near us.
A man in his almost tattered clothes offered his services. I looked at him and jumped into the rickshaw,my husband followed unwillingly.
With all his might the rickshaw puller started paddling his vehicle. He looked a weak,worn out, a tired man in his mid-thirties. I pitied him one moment but that feeling sank next moment in clanging sound of my gold bangles.
There was something like a log wrapped up in a blanket at the back of rickshaw. He was going towards Ganga ghat and our hotel was enroute so I didn't care,and it would earn him a quick twenty bucks.Slowly we started heading towards the destination, suddenly we jerked there was a speed breaker on the road which he could not see and the log which he was carrying fell down.He stopped to put it back at its place. But don't know why he could not put it back.Was it so heavy I thought.Seeing him struggle my husband got down to help him.
And I saw my husband stumble and fell back what was it.I thought about why these men can't quickly finish up the business and get back.
I got down to have a look.
I went blue.
It was the dead body of his fifteen years old boy
The boy who had died that afternoon due to pneumonia,the boy who had died probably due to no warm clothes or no medication.the boy who had died due to starvation.
The man,his father, who was taking him for cremation at Ganga ghat,did not have enough money for his cremation,so he took us as sawaris so that he could earn some money en route.
We unconsciously but willingly went with him to Ganga ghat and helped him perform his fatherly duties. He left.
We sat on the ghat next to each other too tired to speak ,but the sound of silence was fluent and clear.
The tears which we had not surfaced were drowning us.