India United

Deep in the heart of India, beyond the reach of tarred roads and electricity, a dream flickered and took shape; a dream that was fuelled by the desire to succeed, to change one’s destiny and to bring back the promise of a better tomorrow to a place that had none. And it was this innocent dream that inspired 12 year old Bhargava to force himself from his sleep and wake up to study early in the morning. He could hear the gurgling snores of the village watchman Shambhu, who would be deep in his slumber after having had his evening dose on marijuana. Even Pakru, the village mongrel had not woken up. Bhargava went to the nearby hand pump and splashed his face with water. Summer nights in the eastern part of India can be very hot sometimes but this time of the day was pleasantly cool. Bhargava could feel the excitement writ large on his face as he sat down preparing for his school test. About an hour later, his sister Savita and his father Harilal had woken up. He could not help but beam with pride on seeing his son study early in the morning. This sight was motivating enough for him to work hard through rest of the day.
“What the fu…. This rickshaw has broken down,” Kamath cried in anger. They had dug up the area because the electric connections would be set up, or something like that as he had heard some people talking in the bus. He had to reach office quickly and had got down from the bus to take a rickshaw and cross this puddled area quickly. But the rickshaw wheels had got stuck in the mud and the puller was not being able to pull it out. Cursing him, Kamath got down and called for another rickshaw.
“Saab, 6 rupe….” The rickshaw puller could hardly complete his sentence when Kamath got up on another one without bothering to even look back. He tried to pull the wheel out of the mud. In the attempt, a few spokes broke away. Cursing the heavens, he dragged it along to the nearby repair shop. At the repair shop, he checked the time and looked around for a radio or a TV so that he knew who had won the toss. It was almost 9:45 am and if it did not get repaired on time, he knew he would be in trouble.
Murli was indeed furious. His region had been the poorest performing one in the entire country and the National head had mentioned this in an official mail. He had called up a meeting with his team and was waiting for the early morning data tracker sheet from the analyst, Kamath. Kamath’s delay irked him further and when he saw him entering, he could no longer hold himself back, shaking in fury. He also had to go pick his son from school in the evening when all he had wanted was to leave office after lunch to watch the match. He sat down to analyse the excel report while Kamath sat in the corner finishing his work and cursing the rickshaw puller because of whom he would also be missing the match.

Sachin Tendulkar had been batting like he was in a different zone today. He had been struggling to reach his century in the past one year but today he was determined to take India through to victory in the first CB series finals and also notch up his century after a long time. At the score of 99, he got a beamer from Lee, a full toss aimed straight at his body. He turned around as Lee walked up to him to apologize. Tendulkar returned back, looking even more determined than ever as Lee went back to his bowling mark.
“St. Xavier’s ..”Murli told the rickshaw puller at 3 pm in the afternoon. He was dying to know the score as he climbed up the rickshaw.
“It is just next to the City Park.”
“I know Saab. My son also studies in the same school. We will reach in 5 minutes”
Amidst all the confusion and tension, Murli was amazed for a moment when he heard this.
“Where do you stay?”
“In the nearby village Gumtidih.”
“So you bring your son to school from that far everyday?”
“No Saab. He walks.”
Murli was astounded to see the matter of fact tone and a face full of confidence about the future amidst today’s uncertainties. As he got down the rickshaw at the school gate and dialled Kamath’s number to find the latest sales figure who meanwhile had resigned to a lonely day at the office without any score updates, a young boy came running towards the rickshaw puller.
“Hello Kamath…”
“Baba, Sachin scored a hundred. India won,” Bhargava shouted.
Harilal burst into smiles as he lifted his son in his arms as both Murli and Kamath stopped speaking.
“It’s ok Kamath. We can talk later.”
In that one moment, nothing else mattered.


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  1. Extremely well articulated…brings along the petrichor of the true Indian heartland.
    Only unrealistic thing son of a rickshaw puller and a high profile sales head studying in same school 🙂

    | Reply Posted 3 years, 8 months ago
    • * niloyroy47 says:

      Thanks for your kind words and appreciation. It might be unrealistic in the metros but it is very common in smaller towns

      | Reply Posted 3 years, 7 months ago
  2. * writeamitabh says:

    It can make a very good short film. It can be made a little more emotionally dramatic.The Boy’s innocence is to be highlighted. Murli knows that he is going to be fired. When kamath looks at him, he makes an expression and he tries to speak. Murli asks him to wait as he wants to enjoy the moment. The boy’s innocence contrasts with the insecurity and ruthlessness of the corporate world.

    | Reply Posted 3 years, 7 months ago
    • * niloyroy47 says:

      Your ending is better… I was trying to make the point that different strata of society react similarly to Sachin Tendulkar. Hence the similar feeling for all

      | Reply Posted 3 years, 7 months ago
      • * writeamitabh says:

        Yeah I too mean that they have a similar feeling.The child can feel the happiness better because he does not have any worries. Murli too wants to enjoy that moment as passionately and therefore asks Kamath to postpone that bad news for a later moment and enjoy that moment fully.

        Posted 3 years, 7 months ago

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