I was on my usual bus ride. There was nothing peculiar about the day. The sun began to set in its usual direction indicating little children to head home before it got dark. The traffic police held out his hand at different angles in order to direct the impatient vehicles while the migratory birds chirped and flew across, disobeying the traffic orders.
I was sitting at the end of the bus, which gave me a clear view of the engagements around me. I was beginning to feel like I was on a balcony of a film theater. A young boy went around collecting his reward while the others were digging deep into their bags as if mining for gold. Then there was a sudden change in mood, the driver switched on the radio, which began playing an old Hindi song. The lady sitting beside me started humming along. I was thoroughlyenjoyingthe usual scenes when all of a suddenaround fifteen people moved into my imaginary theater.
Now the film had new actors. A mother and child had taken the seat right in front of me. My gaze immediately shifted towards them. It reminded me of my childhood days when I sat on my mother’s lap so that the adults would get their share of seats. The girl was in her school uniform and talked to her mother about what went wrong in the school that day. She complained of the boys that did not let her play with the ball. Her mother listened to her with a smile on her face and love in her eyes.
The one sided conversation lasted for nearly about fifteen minutes and at last the girl exclaimed that she was hungry. At once, a cheese ball packet came out of the mother’s bag. The child was delighted and believed that her mother was a magician who could produce right things at the right time. Her happiness knew no bounds. She enjoyed the magical packet all by herself. Then, she made a ball out of the wrap, held it in her palm and threw it like a spell, out of the window.
The film I was watching ended. It ended with reverberations of the course of events that took place at my imaginary theater. They were as usual as stars that twinkled every night in a clear winter sky.
Writer’s Note- The boy in the story who refused to share his play will probably grow up into a young man who refuses to share the workload at home. Likewise, the girl will learn to accept it as natural while the people around her will smile lending them the confidence of it being just normal. The little girl will grow up to believe that public spaces are not any individual’s responsibility and thus accept when her child litters around in the same way. The story represents our society just as it is. The decision is yours whether you want to change what is perceived as normal or live with it. After all, nation building begins at home.