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The Boy at Badarpur Crossing
|by Subhajit Ghosh|
Capital Glow & Blues – I
The bus was caught in a jam. I would be delayed again in returning home. Getting stranded is becoming a regular affair at Badarpur crossing these days.
I sat at a window seat. As I looked around, my eyes fell on a small boy. His age didn’t seem to have reached the double figure mark. He was seated on the ground, and before him was a wooden box on which were placed a few jars containing toffees, biscuits and other items. Cigarettes, packets of chips and a few more items were also available with him.
The boy was engrossed in reading. It appeared like a school text book. I was about 100 meters or so away from him. A quarter of an hour passed in this state of immobility. There weren’t too many customers, except the occasional one or two. After selling the item the customer had requested, the boy again went back to his book and read with great concentration.
Soon, the jam cleared and our bus inched forward. I lost sight of the boy.
Since that day, I kept on observing the boy as I regularly passed by this route while returning home. Most of the day I found the boy engaged in the same activity.
One day, I had to return early from work. It was around 2pm, and the boy wasn’t around. I am hopeful the boy is attending some Govt. aided school and receiving his education. The single minded focus and determination of such boys is truly deserving of admiration.
When we read in the newspaper about the children of the poorer section excelling in highly competitive examinations like the IITs & such others, their tale of arduous struggle is really inspiring for one and all, especially for teachers like us, which provide us with motivation to keep doing our job earnestly, when the general standards of education in the country is far from satisfactory.
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