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Battle of Dreams & Life

October 17, 2011 12 comments

15 minutes and the Train would depart from Chennai, leaving me behind on the station with an unconfirmed e-ticket in hand. Hell, it took me days together to convince mom. I wanted to join IIT and Kota was the place that could teach me how to win the race. I couldn’t let my dreams shatter even before I lay its foundation.I ran with my luggage to the general compartment of JP Madras Express. The train hustled and thus began the journey towards my dream. In my 17 years of life, this was the 1st time I was doing a long distance journey all alone and that too in the general compartment. I would be lying if I say I wasn’t scared but I definitely had no clue of what lay in store for me.

The boggie was unlikely crowded. Though it was a Women compartment, I could see few men, sitting authoritatively. Thanks to their wives. My gaze slipped to a middle aged man smoking near the door. He looked at me and suddenly I could feel my body shiver under his gaze. Thankfully a lady cop came to rescue and she charged all the men out of compartment.

Next to me sat a Muslim gal in Burqa.She wore a heavy make up and was little plump. I was surprised to know that she was hardly 19 and has 2 kids. She got married after she completed her 10th.

The train halted in some station. A lady, challenged with one leg, entered the compartment with her son. He sat opposite to me. His innocence was clearly seen on his face. He asked something to his mom and she refused. In anger he abused her, calling her bad names. Everyone else in the compartment shocked at this behavior said looking at his mom, “It’s better not to have a child than having one of this kind.” She broke into tears. He asked her again and she refused. Finally threatening her he said, “If you don’t give me, I will sit in the same platform and beg.”  The lady gave up and handed him some coins from a small purse.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The kid hardly seemed to be 10 or 12 years old. He read my mental status and asked-

“Where are you going?”
“Kota”- I said still in shock.
“For the training right?”
“500Km more” he said peeping out of the window.
“I have heard about the institutes there. Which one are you joining?”
“Which standard are you in?”
“I am studying in 5th standard.”- he replied with a childish smile.
“You must be a bright student.” I said smiling at his innocent face.
“Yeah, but what’s the use? I will quit after 10th to earn bread for my family.”

I didn’t have to ask anything else. The reason was understood. I suddenly felt my heart heavy. Not knowing how to respond, I just gave him a meek smile and shifted my gaze outside the window. I suddenly felt so fortunate enough to be able to pursue my dreams, and thanked my parents inside my mind, for letting me walk towards it.

I tore a paper from my diary and scribbled my email id on it.
“Hei, keep this. Today I can’t help you. But when you are in 10th I definitely will be able to. Drop me a mail.”

There are many students in our country who quit their studies as their parents can’t afford it anymore and besides it seems time for them to be the earning hand. Help them in what ever way you can. 🙂

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