Hi readers, Well, this is again regarding my new venture; one more solo ride. Yes, one more. That sounds crazy right? Not to me!! Wo...
Well, this is again regarding my new venture; one more solo ride. Yes, one more. That sounds crazy right? Not to me!! Wondering how is the title even related to something about a venture or a solo ride? Hold on. Lets breathe. Even I had to, as I wrote this.
Whoa, too much on my mind. Lets take one thing at a time.
Preface : (Because saying "Prologue" every time is too mainstream)
|The 10 year old kid!
It was around midnight on the eve of the D-day, I thought of going on a "marathon" ride to destination unknown. Stuffed my bag with 5-6 T shirts, couple of jeans and other essentials. It was this big.
I had anticipated heavy rains on the way. Thus the extra plastic.
It was 2.30 am when I finally decided to sleep. Since it was supposed to be a marathon ride, I rarely thought about the timings. The idea was to find a place after the sundown and stay there for the night.
The Real Story begins now.
Day 1: (There's no Day 2 :p )
I didn't follow my own rule of getting up early on the day of trips. I woke up around 9am today. I was taking things slowly. I borrowed my friends camera and after having a healthy breakfast, I left.
It was 12 when I finally left Bangalore. Within half an hour, I was on NH4 towards Tumkur. I was all determined to do what it takes. But, after a ride of about one and half hours, on the way, I saw this board and it made me to stop there for a while and wait for the call of "Universe".
|I was there!
There was something about the place or may be something inside me asked me to wait. I waited at the very same place for half an hour, pondering over and waiting for the so called call of the "Universe". Even after spending half an hour, there wasn't any.
The earlier plan was to go straight ahead to Chitradurga bypassing the Tumkur City. But instead I decided to go to Siddhaganga matha which was nearby. I had heard so much about the place. So I thought I would visit the place and see if I can still receive that call of the "Universe".
As I entered the premises, it didn't seem like a "Matha" (temple kind of). I saw many children playing and wondered what was it. It was a school there. With all the hostel facility for the poor students.
I parked the bike there and sat under the shade of tree watching children play. I saw many other people visiting and leaving. But I was the one who never moved. A kid noticed me sitting alone and came to me. He didn't even hesitate to be the first one to speak up, and asked where was I from. Bangalore was my instant reply. When he said he was from Gulbarga, (my hometown) then I clarified that I live in Bangalore but my hometown was Gulbarga. He asked me if I was alone? Then he said he was watching me since I arrived there. He said he came to me because I hadn't moved an inch in the past half hour. I had to accept.
He started and took on the conversation. So as we spoke, I inquired about his schedule. It was a routine hostel schedule. He said he was very happy there.(ಮನಸ್ಸು ಬರುತ್ತೆ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ).
Continuing with the conversation, he told me about his family. His father owns a bullock kart, and his mother is a tailor. You can imagine what might be their income. That 10 year old kid studies in Class 6. Their parents visit him only once a year. That too only during the beginning of a new academic year to complete the admission formalities.
On asked if he never feels like going home, he says, "Yes I do. When somebody scolds me for no reason, and some other boys bully me, I definitely feel like going home. When I miss home, I do cry". After listening to him, I couldn't resist offering my cellphone to make a call. He was deeply excited.
Also he says, that he never travels home by bus because they charge more. So he travels by train in unreserved category. Most of the times without buying a ticket. I was curious. What if he gets caught. For that he calmly replies, "Lets see what happens then." (ದುಡ್ಡು ಇಲ್ಲ, ಸಿಕ್ಕಿ ಬಿದ್ದಾಗ ನೋಡಿದ್ರೆ ಆಯ್ತು ).
We talked for about three hours. I said about myself, he asked some questions, I asked some. May be nobody ever had the time to speak with him for such long. Later he accompanied me to a temple within the campus. Then to a Nandi idol which was carved out a huge rock.
On the way back, when I offered him a couple of bites of Bournville chocolate which I had, he said "What about you? Take a bite from this." (ನಿಮಗೆ? ನೀವು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ತೊಗೊಳ್ಳಿ ). He earned it. :)
By the time I waited for the call of Universe, he had taught me so many lessons in life. These may be very trivial, but rarely anybody notices. Though he was poor in terms of money, he was rich by heart.
When I was about to leave, I saw tears in his eyes. He was crying. :( I couldn't even speak a word. My heart melted. It was hard for me to leave. Though it was a matter of few hours, it was the heart he shared, the richness he showed me. He taught me to appreciate little things in life. To love and care. He showed me that Kindness and Love is what defines all of us. Neither money, nor age. He had neither of those. All that matters is how rich you are at heart! All that I learnt from just a 10 year old kid.
|That kid captured this. I didn't even ask for it. :)
As I rode my way out of the campus, I saw a small store and stopped there to buy some chocolates for him. That was the least I could do. :( So, when I went back to the campus, he wasn't there. I asked other pupils if anybody knew where he was. There are many divisions of the same class. Nobody knew where he belonged. All I was left with was, the lessons and the chocolates I bought for him.
The call of the Universe was received. Instead of continuing with the journey, I headed back home!! Great day. I had never imagined a 10 year old would make some difference to me. Thank You kid.