‘Yatrigan kripya dhyan den! …’ as I eagerly straightened my ears to the train announcement. It ended with ‘… hame khed hai’ and an unprecedented wait ensued. The April heat plus humidity, and having not eaten a bite since morning, made me miss the morning breakfast. Only if I had got up early!
I searched the back pocket of my jeans. There was a 2-rupee coin.
It was the year 2011 and even then there was hardly anything to buy for 2 Rupees that can be my, as I looked at the station clock, my Lunch!
I went outside the station, passing over the autos and the rickshaws, to look for the worthy vendor who deserved my 2 rupees in return for lunch. I scanned around the lane to zero down on one stall that appeared to have a lot of Bhajjis, samosas and fried stuff.
Asking ‘….eita kitte?’ is easier when you have money. I realized it that day.
Just then, a man walked by to give a 10 rupee note to Bhaina and got 5 Aaloo chops in return. All 5 packed in the newspaper cut-out placed diligently skewered over the counter.
‘Bhaina.. gotte Aloo chop ta dio’ was what I remember saying in my broken Odia.
I took the aaloo chop and walked towards the station. The taste of that Aloo chop, as I took a bite, is something that’s as fresh as yesterday. I used the same oil-soaked newspaper to wrap and throw-aim at the nearby dustbin to feel elated, I missed it by a whisker (because, of course!). I was still happy, nevertheless.
Years later, the reason I still remember this, is that I wasn’t sad about this. There was no ‘moment of determination’ that I’m going to change this. There was no drama attached to that moment and this might just be running parallel NOW in someone else’s life!
To go back and check the singular emotion going through my head: It was Hope!
The hope that this temporary mundane would change for the better. The way it has always been.
What I now realize, Hope is a peculiarly strong emotion. It CAN change the perceived impossible. It has a vision and it lends wing to that vision.
We’ve all faced moments when we’re hard-pressed amidst a no-way street. The dark hours are upon us and there seems to be nothing that can bring us out of there.
And yet, it does. With the hope that there’ll be a new dawn. It’s axiomatic that things will always change for the better.
We all strive to achieve and we won’t get ALL we want. But we’ll get something. Something that’ll make us happy to look at the past and smile about it.
The story I shared is everyone’s story. What we never had before, we have that now! Our list is long, and it keeps getting longer, and it might take the time to get it all. But we should always sit back and see, how many of those we already have.
I keep getting back to this 2-rupee story every now and then. What’s your story that puts a smile on your face when you remember it now?