The rain water poured on him as he tried to pick up left-over food and unused materials from the garbage dump. He held a black polythene bag over his shoulder and scoured for anything that seemed of a little importance to others. He was drenched and water tripped from his torn, rugged clothes. He wore a mucky banyan. His bare shoulder was exposed to the devouring drops of rain. The petrichor seemed to have vanished away. His eyes were immersed in the search for coins, severed jeans, shabby shoes and tattered bags. His lips quivered in regular intervals. He wiped off the water from his eyes so that he didn’t miss out on anything he could pick up.
Suddenly, his eyes were looking for shelter. He saw a shop and carefully carried his bag and left for the place. He sponged himself with a piece of jute he had collected from the dumpyard. He sat beside his polythene bag and squeezed himself to feel warm. He gazed at the seemingly angry sky. He felt as if everybody hated him. His eyes pleaded for love. He thought about the last night. He slept hungry. His little sister cried herself to sleep. He hated the fact that they were poor. He hated that he had to see his little sister compromise with the slightest of desires. He couldn’t see his father work so hard day and night at the construction site and return with a few bucks which was never enough to provide the family with a heartfelt dinner. He could feel exactly how his father felt. There was need and desire to live a normal life but not the ability.
“Don’t sit here, you moron. You will wet all my stuff”, the shopkeeper seemed to notice him then.
He was used to such condemnations. He quietly got up and left with his bag. The rain had however become less intense.
While walking, he remained engrossed in vivid images of his scarred life. He could see his mother scrubbing the tiled floors of another house. He could see his little sister crying for some food. This filled his eyes with sad tears. He could visualise his father toiling his sweat off at the site. He could see the moustached man at the grocery shop denying his mother anything and everything. He could see the doctors at the hospital swatting his father away because he couldn’t produce their fees.
He was almost at the verge of weeping. He didn’t demand love or sympathy. He dreamt of school. He dreamt of being able to visit water parks and theatres. Even, going to the temples seemed like a big deal to him. Above all that, there were these vendors with spicy fries and delicious sweets he could never resist. He was not in a need to learn adjustments and sacrifices. He was already making one. All he desired for was a reason to thank somebody. Unfortunately, he didn’t have one.