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Smile, Its precious.

Smile, Its precious.

3 mins 9.1K 3 mins 9.1K

It was 2nd week of Feb. I was standing in one of the tacky streets of Kolkata. Slightly lost in my own whirlpool of thoughts, moving the pen between my fingers and pondering about the mistakes that I had just committed in my GATE paper. I was sure it had not gone the way I had expected. I thought soon I would be in the final year. Companies would start hitting the campus. Where I would be standing? Standing tall or in toe? Expectation would get pulverized or i would come out with flying colors.

Before I could add some more philosophical colours in my thoughts, it started drizzling. I started searching a roof to save me from the rain. But soon it started raining cats and dogs. I was fully wet and was waiting for the BUS number 230 which would take me to my hostel. But I was not aware of the fact that Bus-230 had two different routes. There was no bus for the direction I was heading for. By then I was shivering a little. I saw a Hand-pulled Rickshaw wala came in-front of me and asked my puzzled face- dada kothai jabe(Brother where u will be going?)

I said-" dum dum" I am waiting for the Bus-230. He put the handle of the Rickshaw down and said-Bus-230 aager

stoppage e pabe (You will get bus-230 from the next stoppage). I felt irritated knowing the fact.

He said he can take me there, but will charge Rs-20. I personally never liked to travel in these hand pulled rickshaws. According to me I would be hurting the puller. But my mother always used to tell me that if everybody started thinking like me, then how these rickshaw pullers would going to survive.

I thought before the maudlin waves in my brain trap me with their sentiments I should be heading towards my hostel.

I embarked the rickshaw without giving much thought on wasting Rs-20 extra instead of 5 rupees bus fare.

The man carrying me was certainly in his mid 60s. Even he was shivering while carrying me. Somehow I was feeling little guilty. I started talking to him. I asked him where do you live? He pointed out towards right and said there.

I could see a small slum. Then he started- "But we have to shift from here in sometime. Because these rickshaws will get banned by the government. And these slums will also get removed from there." I again asked him where he will go then?

Without turning his face he said- "Somewhere else.. Not sure where.." He started again and said- "You know I can live anywhere but as my wife has some health issues, only that bothers me.. or I can live anywhere.." I didn't know what to ask.. I tried to sound concerned and asked- "What has happened to your wife?" Again without turning to my face he said-"Bodo Daktar(Sr. Doctor) told me she has cancer". I was jaw dropped.

I could not utter a single word till I reached my destination. He put the rickshaw down, made room for me to come out. I handed him a 20 Rs note. While taking it he said- "Babu God has given us the LIFE and I never ever feel pity about it. I know I will do something and I know I can take care of her..."

I could see a strange smile in his face. A smile which was hardly earned and not fake. A smile which was triumph for life in odds. A smile which was for hope.

My wet eyes looked at him. And I SMILED him back before boarding my bus-230.

I told myself "smile... no matters what happens"

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