Turn the Page, Turn the Life | A Writer’s Battle for Survival | Help Her Win
Turn the Page, Turn the Life | A Writer’s Battle for Survival | Help Her Win

Deepti Agrawal

Others Children


Deepti Agrawal

Others Children

The Old Book Stall

The Old Book Stall

3 mins

She stood there gaping at the bookstall. Her stomach growled reminding her that the last morsel she threw in her stomach was three moons before. When she got lucky in a fight with that brown fury furious dog on the other street. That day she won the fight and got a piece of half-eaten bread right from that dog's mouth. The dog could not see her hiding and no sooner than it ran past her she threw a big stone and hit its mouth catching the bread piece in the air and immediately gobbling it down. 

Oh! How much she wanted to read. She loved reading and through stories she loved transporting herself into the fantasy world it created. 

Once she got hold of a torn book in the garbage of some princess called 'Cinderella'. She found so many similarities with her. But the moment the king's people came to their house to try on the shoe, the book ended abruptly. 

Oh! No! She cried in despair. It was just half a book and now she yearns to read it. To know what happened? To believe in Happily ever after. 

But there was no way she could know now as the book was torn and the pages were missing. For months she kept on looking at the garbage bags at the same spot. Maybe just maybe she might get lucky and get the other half of that book to know the end.

Now that bookstall of old used books was pulling her like a strong current. She obliged and walked towards it. Many children were laughing and giggling around the stall. They were holding one or the other books. 

Her mouth started watering as if looking at a plate full of hot delicious food. But she knew how to survive for another two days easily without any real need for food. But her heart craves for the books. She loved the words creating magic in her mind and teaching her so much about the world. 

Her mother taught her patiently to read with black coal on the ground. Since then she picks any piece of paper lying here and there and tried to read and if she had any doubts, her mother always explained it. Last month she did not wake up even after her many attempts. Then somebody told her she was dead. Later she was stuffed in her garbage collecting bag and taken away by two people. 

That day she lost two precious possessions. One, her mother, and Two, her garbage collecting bag. She did not know what and how she will survive. But she did.

And now standing beside the old bookstall she looked at the books hungrily. She was so engrossed in the books that she did not even hear the footsteps. She was shocked when she heard someone tugging at her shoulder. She looked into the softest brown smiling eyes. Her expensive hat was flavourful placed, she was wearing dark glasses and had soft rosy color on her lips. 

She had a sandwich in her hands and she offered her. She wanted to read so much at the same time she was hungry too. She did not know what to do. She moved her head in 'No'. That lady was surprised.

"Why, little girl? You seem so hungry. Do you want something else to eat? You poor girl my heart bleeds to see you in this state" 

Her eyes lit at this and thought maybe she can ask for a book. 

Which she did. 

Lady was surprised and happy at the same time for her demand. She gently took her hand and together they walked towards the bookstall.

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