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Subin Sahadevan



Subin Sahadevan


The Dream Cycle

The Dream Cycle

12 mins 270 12 mins 270

This story depicts the condition of the ones who are in need of the basic resources or simply the ones who are poor. This story is also a timeline of the Indian scenario of child labor and its cruel figures. This story describes the regular or mostly resembling tale of the needy ones who have dreams in their life but its success is limited.

The story starts with a bunch of poor children playing in a coalfield in the Rial district of Maharashtra. The children are playing a local game called ‘Gilli danda’ among them, which is supposed to be a famous game in the rural areas of all India. The small lads showed skinny legs, body and face covered with ashes and their shoulder bones projecting outwards. One can easily coin them as malnutrition affected kids. But, they are not disturbed by this fact and are playing with high spirits as if they were playing a world championship match. But this game did not last too long as the inspector of the coalfield noticed these bunch of lads. He ran furiously towards the kids and beat them and dragged them toward the working area, where they were supposed to work.

The children worked in the ‘Rana Puri Coal Field’ in Leham village of Rial district of Maharashtra. They were child laborers of this private limited. This story revolves around Lathif, who is one of the children and his struggle in life.

Lathif, the name not fixed by his parents, was found one day in the mosque in the Leham village. His parents left him in the premises of the mosque. He was 2 when he was found by locals in the mosque and later they decided to call him Lathif. His childhood progressed in the village, playing with the other kids and working in the coalfield. He had many friends in the village but was mostly found with Sahib and Malik, who were also orphan kids. The trio leads their life with all its color and enjoyed their life with each other, even after being devoid of the basic facilities like food, shelter, and cloth. Apart from their work in the coalfield they were also indulged in scrap collecting activities that fetched them money. They were found on the outskirts of the city collecting scraps.

The kids got 50Rs/- for working in the coalfield. They also made money by depositing scrap materials. On the whole, the trio spends their life eating “Gol Gappa” a famous fast food in India and slept near the shops of the village. However, Lathif the youngest of the trio was not satisfied by his life. He complains when he sees the kids of their age going to school. Sahib, the decision-maker of this trio argued that schools are only for the non-orphan kids and they can’t go there. But Lathif wanted to be like the Engineer in the coalfield who was respected by everyone in the field. Lathif knew that if he wanted to be like him he has to study in school. So, one-day Lathif went to a school in the hope of getting admission. He went inside the office room and he saw a group of teachers sitting. One man found this little chap in the room and gazed him top to bottom. Lathif smelted like a rotten egg and wore dirty clothes, the typical picturesque of a street boy. The man was amused seeing him inside the office. Lathif asked if he might get admission to the school. The man, who is in charge of the office ordered the security man of the school to kick the boy out of the school premises. Lathif was in a pity state and returned to his friends. He didn’t disclose this even to his friends.

Time passed by, Lathif and his friends were engaged with their monotonous lives. Lathif's interest in studies was sunk after that incident and didn’t dream anything of his remaining life. He was found with his friend working in the coalfield and bearing the internal pain after getting embarrassed by others. Slowly by slowly, he was sucked into his monotonous life. He was 18 when he found a girl working in the same coalfield. Her name was ‘Laila’ and she was working to support her family. Her family consisted of her mother only. Her father cheated her mother and left after gifting her Laila. Her mother met with a road accident leaving her half paralyzed. So young Laila had to work in the coalfield to support her mother.

The trio gang had included an another member in their group i.e.; Laila. She was found with them chatting and playing. Laila would bring food from her home and would share it with them. Their friendship became deepen. The trio would visit her home and would chat for hours. The trio knew that the girl was poor and needed help. They sometimes gave money to her family when the situation was worse.

But Lathif could be seen having a special attachment with Laila, a typical teenage feeling known as LOVE. Lathif's life took a U-turn after meeting Laila. His problems of life were forgotten when he saw Laila. Lathif told his love to his friends. Sahib was not surprised as he knew this matter already. Sahib and malik knew that Lathif was in love with Laila and told him to tell his feelings to her. Lathif was a bit hesitated to propose Laila, the same feeling every boy or girl have irrespective of their social status. But Lathif made his mind and went to meet Laila. He told his feelings to her. Laila was not surprised, she knew his love for her. But she told her that her situation didn’t demand this love episode as she had an enormous task in her life to help her mother. She had to make money for her mother's treatment. Lathif told her that he would help her to gather money and decided that he would marry her only after her family crisis was over. Laila also agreed to this decision and was happy to see Lathif holding her family.

The year was 2001, the trio gang grew up working in the same field. Lathif was working day and night to make money. He opened a bank account and would deposit his money there. The operation date of Laila’s mother was closing by and the charge was Rs 20,000/-. After all years of hard work, Lathif was only able to save Ten thousand rupees in his account. Laila was paid low than Lathif and could not make the remaining cash. Lathif’s friends were also not having the remaining money as they didn’t save money as Lathif did. Lathif had no option and took a loan from the bank to get the remaining cash. The operation was done successfully and her mother got cured. The doctor advised Laila's mother to not indulge in any sort of work. Laila was really thankful to Lathif as her family got an uplift.

Lathif was 24 when he married Laila who was 4 years younger than him. They moved to a new home with Laila’s mother in the same district of Rial and was having a pleasant life. Time passed by, they were gifted with a son. Lathif’s dream of studying was passed to his son. Lathif wanted to make his son study and to become an Engineer. Lathif named him Shahjahan, “The King of Kings”. Lathif took his son to the same school from which he was thrown out. Tears poured out of him when he admitted his son to the school. Lathif was working in the same coalfield company right from his childhood. Laila left her work and lived happily with Lathif and their son. Lathif’s friends, Sahib and Malik left the district after Lathif’s marriage and went to find a better job in Mumbai.

‘Rana Puri Coal Field’ after running for many years was shut down at last because of a union strike. The unions were demanding a higher salary which made the company shut down. Lathif’s life was upside down now. Slowly by slowly, his money was depleting. He had to find another work to support his family. At times when he had to deposit fees for his son, he had to donate his blood. This donation increased as he had to run his family. Lathif realized that he had to find work quickly. He went to Mumbai to find some work.

After days of job hunting, he was landed in a construction site where he worked. The pay was too low and remained nothing with him after he sent money to his family back in the Rial district. His life became miserable with the load of work and didn’t get much opportunity to meet his family. But one day, Lathif’s life was halted. As he was working in the constriction site and without any safety precaution he met with an accident. He was working on the top floor when he slipped and fell down. He was admitted to the hospital. His situation was critical. Soon the news spread to his family and Laila went to Mumbai leaving her son with their neighbor. She found Lathif lying on the floor of the hospital without proper treatment, a typical Indian government hospital. She rushed to him and burst into tears. She was unable to figure him, as Lathif’s face was completely wounded. She didn’t know what to do and was in a pitiful state. Lathif told her to stop crying and listen to him. He told her that he thinks that his life would not be the same before and tells her to gather strength and look after their child. She was completely destroyed by this and rushed to the doctor. The doctor told her that his situation was critical.

Lathif told her wife that make sure their son receive proper education and never realize him the pain of poor ones. This was the last sentence of Lathif and he passed away. Laila gathered the strength and didn’t cry. She wanted to make the dream of Lathif into reality. She brought the body of her husband to their village and performed his last rites. Shahjahan was now 10 years old and in spite losing his father, Laila made sure that his son received a proper education.

Laila got a job in a nearby city. She worked in the Railway Station. She was paid low but it was enough for both of them. Years passed by quickly. Laila had to struggle in her life to accommodate the school fee and run their life. Shahjahan was now studying in Tenth grade and knew her mother’s condition and how much she was working to support him. When he asked that he wanted to come with her to work, she denied this and told him to just focus on studies. Shahjahan was good in his studies and was the school topper.

Laila’s life took another turn when she was removed from the job due to some reasons. Now she had to find another job quickly. A few days passed by, but she was not able to fetch a job. She had borrowed money from the villagers to run her family. This resulted in the disrupt life of Laila and Shahjahan. After months of unemployment, she had no other option left. She knew that she had to make her son study, as it was the dream of his father. The money which she bought from the villagers was rising and she was unable to pay them.

The life of Laila was filled with tears and was helpless. She went to the city on finding a job. She met a woman and told her that she was desperately in need of a job. The woman assured her of money. But the money would only come by doing a small business which is popular and spreading across the Mumbai and other parts of India- “Prostitution”. Laila was filled with anger when she heard this and left the place immediately. But when the situation got worsen, she had no other option left. She knew that to support her family she had to make money in any means. She wanted to make the dream of her husband alive. She met the same woman and accepted the offer.

Now Laila was able to fund her family. She was able to make her son study. She returned the money of the villagers. On enquiring about her job, she told Shahjahan that she worked in a construction site. Shahjahan was now in his final year of school and was a grown-up boy and had the tagline of the topper of the school.

One day Shahjahan and his friend went to a nearby city for watching a movie. Shahjahan left the theatre early as he knew that he should return home early to study. While walking home, he saw her mother with another man walking towards a lodge. He followed them and found what actually her mother’s profession was. His heart shrunk right away and was unable to tolerate his tears. He walked down the road crying and realizing her mother’s condition. He felt ashamed of himself of making her mother’s life in such a state.

Shahjahan was now destroyed by the event. He enquired about his mother of the event and told her that she won't have to go there again. He told her that he would go to work and support the family. Laila couldn’t speak as she cannot explain what she did. But Shahjahan knew that her mother was only trying to raise her family. Shahjahan had to leave the school and work in the coalfield which opened again. The dream of his father, Lathif could not be fulfilled as Shahjahan had to support his family from meeting poverty. Shahjahan dropped his school, even after being a topper and worked in the field to earn money. He told her mother to stay in the house and not to go for any work. He told her that from now onwards she could rest and he would go to work.

The Life of poor ones is portrayed by my views in this story of a dream seen by Lathif but failing to succeed. The dream seen by Lathif will be passed to Shahjahan when he will be gifted with a child in the future. But the fulfillment of the dream will be unknown as life offers a strange path to the needy ones. So, “The Dream Cycle” will be repeated again and again and I hope that many would achieve the dream.


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