Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Lets Go Away...together and forever!

Continued from the previous part

                                                         Pic courtsey: (c) Rohitash Hurla, 2012. Location: Sinhagad Fort, Pune.

"Now? what next? You are not going to school without your bag..or are you?" her eyes grew bigger and wearing an upset face Kavya was looking more beautiful than ever to Pankaj.
Pankaj giggled a little.
"I never thought i would be talking to you for so long. I so love my schoolbag now." He was happy.
"Huh? Okayzzz... I am getting late now. My friend, Supriya will join me soon. Time to go now. Bye Pankoo. I have to catch a bus to Khadakwasla. Its really far and i am getting late. Bye" She turned her face back and stood there only with her arms crossed and looking up as if she doesn't want to talk anymore. She soon started humming one of her favorite songs.
Pankaj turned away his face from hers. He stepped back a little. His eyes again searching for the bag.
He asked the man standing right next to him. "Dada, have you seen any bag? a school bag. Blue color? with a superman? Red wala superman?Inside it there was my lunch box. I kept that bag here only. Have you seen dada?"
No response came from the person who was busy staring his wrist watch and adjusting it as if someone has tied the time telling device and he is not able to get rid of it. Pankaj waited for his response. He shook his head in negative and attended a call, "Hey Shalu... my wife is waiting for me dear. I can not come right now. You know your friend Rashmi very well. Imagine what would happen if she gets to know everything about us what will....hey Shalu listen, hey..okay where you want to go? Okay...I will be there. Hmmm some twenty minutes? Okay?Bye." The call got disconnected and his eyes met Pankaj's sad little face. "Kaay Pahije? I haven't seen anything. Now go!" "Hey Rashmi, Ho... I will be a little late darling, Mera jo boss hai na he has given me a very big assignment. I need to stay back at office. Ha....on my way to office right now. Sorry darling. Is Shruti alright? You gave her the medicines no...?... that i gave her last night. The doctor told me Shruti will recover once she completes this course. Yea...What about Chintu? School gaya? Okay..Hey..will call you after I am free okay? Chalo Bye..Love you darling." He disconnected the call and started running towards the bus which was already crowded.

With teary eyes, Pankaj saw the man finally get to board the bus. Some commuters who were hanging near the doors started beating the man for such unauthorised entry. Life is like that only. Pankaj collected his thoughts and started visualizing the angry face of his mother.  Her ever abusing attitude towards him and how she locks him in his room as a part of punishment. His mother will beat the hell out of him. He remembered the last time he lost his only pair of black leather shoes during a cricket match in neighborhood.
"Kaay? Laad sahab ban gaye ho? Did your father saved enough for us? Are we that rich Pakeya? Answer me? where are your shoes?Where are your shoes??"  With a raised voice and red eyes she started scolding her son.
"Aai, Mala mahiti nahi. I lost them somewhere i don't know!" *And then the regular event started which was nothing new to Pakeya.*
Pankaj would sit in a corner of his small room crying and remembering his father while holding his left cheek. The warm tears rolling down his cheek started tasting sour rather than salty.It was never sweet either. The day he lost his father, he didn't cry.He would take out his marbles one by one and place them down on the floor. One by one he took out three blue, two green and one black marble. "Suresh, Rohit, Mangala, Baba, Aai.....Hmm...Hmmm...Kavita."

He turned back to Kavya. She was going towards the bus with her friend Supriya.
"No, i will not go home. I will not go home. Mi Ghari Janar Nahi..Nahi."
He started running towards Kavya as if he wanted to see her once again. The two girls busy chatting entered the bus and managed the window seats near towards the exit.The other commuters were entering the bus ready to go on a journey for more than one hour long. The bus driver honked for the last time. The conductor standing near the exit door shouted monotonously, "Khadakwasla,Warje, Kothrud Stand...Chala Chala..."
Pankaj didn't want to lose the opportunity.He didn't care about his lost school bag, neither he cared when he lost many such gifts of life. He never had such a great desire to meet Kavya before. He felt as if his legs were taking him towards Kavya effortlessly. Because this time he had reasons. Reasons to not return back. Reasons that he wanted someone to believe him. Reasons that Kavya cared for him knowingly how stupid he was. All his sorrows vanished into thin air which was becoming heavy with his heart full of emotions and willingness to talk to Kavya.
And he jumped on the bus finally. His both hands now firmly taking hold of the door handle on which he was still hanging and smiling towards Kavya.
"Kuthe?" asked the thin mustached man in his fifties tapping his vending machine towards Pankaj.
"Shevtche Station...Khadakwasla. Last Station...Khadakwasla!" Again he heard the same voice..this time the voice had melody . Apna Pankoo smiled back to the bus conductor and showed him his journey pass," Khadakwasla." His eyes shining. Tears nowhere to be seen.

Pankaj took a deep breath hanging by the doors. His eyes met Kavya's who was watching him carefully without paying any attention to Supriya's gossips anymore. Pankoo,almost hanging from the doors took out the only black marble from his shirt's pocket and showed it to Kavya .

"Kavita...see. This is for you."

Kavya watched him with surprise and smiled back. Her little , just a little smile made the most perfect dimple for the two little souls ready to take a journey long and for ever.

What will you do when you find the journey more beautiful than the destination?
Will Kavya and Pankaj continue their journey together? To know further...please have a little patience as picture abhi baaki hai mere dost.

~to be continued~

~PS~ 08.08.2017

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Lost and Found...

Continued from the previous part.

Pankaj would stare Kavya with complete surprise and did not utter any word. This was his daily routine, like for the past one month he is trying to grab some kind of attention but in vain.
Kavya surrounded with the girls would always love to boast how her father fought valiantly in police force.
"He would jump on the culprits from the tree tops and get hold of them. No one can escape from my Baba. He is my superman!"
"Arey Kavya, you never told us about your mother. Where is your Aai? Not here with you? You didn't tell us about her!" asked the girl with the runny nose, puzzled.
"Pooja, tula kaay mahiti? I don't know... My Baba says she has gone to meet Ganpati Bappa to some distant place. I am sure she will come back someday. I just want to see her. How she looks and what she wears? is she also fond of badminton like me? or she plays basketball like Sandhya? I wonder if she likes..." Kavya was soon interrupted by the noise of a loud quarrel between a lady and an old man fighting over a seat.
"Disat nahi ka?. This is ladies seat not for you, uncle!" ,the angry lady was shouting to an old man who was going to sit on her lap as the lady jumped on the window seat that went vacant at the next stop.The old man who was wearing a gandhi topi was holding a local newspaper that slipped from his hands during the tussel and fell straight in front of Pankaj.
Pankaj was busy counting his marbles down the pockets. One..One plus one is two. Two plus two is four. He was struggling with his schoolbag ,disappointed of the fact that after a month long wait, Kavya neglected him finally. But when the newspaper pages came rolling towards him, he couldn't resist but picked them up and reached to the old man who was panting now,tired and exhausted.

"He ghyaa Kaka."Pankaj saw the old man's wrinkled face creased with sweat as he was unable to stand in the crowded bus. He took the newspaper and slid it inside,buttoned up his shirt and secured it from the outside world thus saving it with his compromised state of privacy. People these days are less concerned. Everyone is busy doing nothing. Nowadays we love to make ourselves confined to our own world filled with gadgets and social networking that demand nothing except our limited time thus making us busy doing nothing at all. The screen makes us blind and the music makes us deaf to the outside world. We fail to listen to our own voice which haunts us after it's too late to respond. 

Pankaj took a quick glance of Kavya. Yes, she was watching the whole incident. Her friends were busy gossiping about the new school teacher and the possible punishments if the homework was not done, but she was silent, looking straight to Pankaj with a thoughtful mind. Pankaj took his eyes off from her and continued counting the marbles inside his pant's pockets. One..One plus one is two. Two plus two is four. Four plus four is...

The announcement, " Pudhil station Shivajinagar, Next station Shivajinagar."
Pankaj became upset when he saw Kavya getting down with her friends. They would exit as if they wanted to leave Pankaj alone, he thought. He would stare them go away..with their big bags and even bigger smiles on their face. He couldn't remember the last time he smiled. He forgot smiling the day when he lost his father...forever.

The usual pheriwala was back with his tray of piping hot vada pavs. Chala Chala ...Wada Pav..Kanda Bhajji.. Pankaj was always fond of this local cuisine. He would remember the time when his father used to bring hot vada pavs to home after returning from his daily labour. The time spent in the evenings were such a delight. His father was his only source of glittering happiness and filling appetite apart from his abusive mother.
He would readily search down all available pockets but would comfort himself thinking that today is not his day and his mother will not give him any extra money to spend. Huh...here goes my dreams shattered, he would think. The pheriwala was carrying those hot little dreams that Pankaj always wanted to cherish with his father in the lost evenings at his old deserted house in Mumbai.
He jumped down from the bus in the poodle of mud and moved on to search for the pheriwala who got lost in the crowd silently just like his father. He would soon catch another bus for the place where he was least interested to go. To the school. He waited near the bus depot and started looking for the pheriwala with his school bag kept on one of the steel chairs near to the ticket counter.Now the aroma of wada pav is gone. Just noise instead. Never ending noise. Chala chala Katraj..Swargate!

"Pankoo?" he heard a familiar voice again. A female voice again but this time it was not pre-recorded.

As he turned back he found Kavya standing in front him looking straight into his eyes. Her big, round, blue eyes full of questions, he thought. No..she was not with her friends. But why she came to me? He again thought. Pankaj smiled and searched his pockets. Soon his smile began to wane when he found three of his marbles missing. Oh no, i am so incomplete without them!
"Pankoo...you forgot something. See what i got for you! Your marbles." Kavya moved her right palm forward and offered him the exact three blue marbles that he always liked the most.
"Just like your eyes!" Pankaj was brimming with joy. As if he found his life back. His birthday gift when he was 8. Mumbai..Father...Accident...Hospital...Mother...Relatives...Friends..Abandoned.. The Deserted House...A Long Journey...A new city...New place...New people...New life. But Same old marbles, three blue,two green and one black. Blue..Just like her eyes.Big, round, blue eyes.The only constant in his life.Undisturbed. Safe and Secured back. He wished he could get everything back. His father back. "Thank...you...Kavita!"
"So you already know my name? You can call me Kavya, Hi... " Giggled the girl with the blue eyes.
"Haha..I am Pankaj, but I am okay with Pankoo if you like calling me by this name. I am ok. Very much. Though this is not my nickname. My Aai calls me Pakeya..." he laughed back this time.
"Pakeya...haha!...Kavya and Pakeya...haha!!!" His laughter exhibited the gap between his two incisors. Kavya laughed a little more.
"Hey, your school is not in my way right? You will go to that way right?" He asked hesitatingly.
"Yes, actually i forgot my tiffin box today. My father will be very very angry you know?"
"Oh, you can take my tiffin dabba. I don't feel like eating anyway. You can have it." Pankaj looked for his schoolbag which was out of his sight right now and no where near to the ticket counter. It vanished just like that pheriwala. "I kept it here only...where did it go?"
"It's gone! It's nowhere here." confirmed Kavya.
He was happy to get rid of his schoolbag finally. What a pain it was! Not able to help Kavya this time as a favor for returning back his lost marbles was more painful to him.
"You lost your schoolbag? But how? What will you do now? Your teacher will beat you up for not bringing textbooks! What about your parents? I feel pity for you now. So sorry for you Pankoo!" Her eyes grew even bigger now. Pankaj found such a relief getting back his marbles that the loss of his school bag didn't matter at all..

We all want to get rid of our burden. We all want to erase everything bad from our memories. Yet they have etched our minds so deeply that we fail to do so. Life is like a journey. We meet some and we leave some. We make some and we break some. Are the two little souls destined to find the way out together in this journey? Or will there path will never cross again? Lets find out in our next part...

~~~to be continued~~
Click here to know what happens next - http://www.sarkartimes247.com/2017/08/lets-go-awaytogether-and-forever.html

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Pudhil Station...Pune Vidyapeeth!

I wonder how countless people carry loads of stories with them everyday and everywhere.
Right from waking up early in the morning, performing their daily chores, gushing out to the streets and losing their own identities among others in just a fraction of time.
Some want to get a decent job, rest want a handsome pay.
Some want a life partner, rest a partner in crime, if i say.
Some want to break away from the routine life and start their own ventures but fear make them stumble and uncertain in such a random world where your destiny is governed by a society.
A society that creates its own rules and slap them on your face just to prove that you have lost your significance living a life lacking of comfort and full of deprivation.

One such life was carried forward by a boy named Pankaj. He was twelve, hence a school boy.
He was a usual in the PMPML bus stop at Ravet, a place in the suburb of Pune.
A city which carries more vehicles on its roads than Aamchi Mumbai is well discussed in the Buddhijeevi section.
Pankaj used to travel a total of thirty kilometers, changing two buses daily and mostly standing with other men and women packed inside with no space left to move hands or look for the next station. He was accustomed to his life and he didn't bother. He knew his life is never going to change for good.
"Aye..Ladies seat, baher ye!" shouted a 40 year old lady to the boy.
"Ho." Pankaj offered her his seat and started moving towards the exit of the bus as he was not sure whether he will get another seat next stop.
"Pudhil Station.. Pune Vidyapeeth. Next station... Pune Vidyapeeth." Announced a lady from the  pre-recorded system which was a new topic of discussion for the daily commuters. Some will say that technology in public transport is much needed and a few will disagree saying that it's their own money getting siphoned off and thus is the outcome.No such appreciation at all. To the conductor, he must get the fare from the commuters or charge them fine if fare not paid. To the driver it was just a normal routine, a kantaal tiring drive to Hadapsar depot .Long two hours drive. No such expectation at all. But for Pankaj, it was the only female voice he had in his life apart from his elder sister, an elderly mother and a regular girl from the next bus stop. He fills with joy everytime there was a recorded announcement and he would mimic and say, mimic and say until or unless the bus stops, "Ha Station....Pune Vidyapeeth..." cause he would know, she has arrived...on time like everytime.
Just when the bus arrived to the stop, from the rush of people shouting and jumping over the already crowded bus entered our pyaari si nanhi si Kavya. Drumrolls please!
Kavya was a year older than Pankaj who used to study in a girls high school which was just a walk away from the boys high school. Everyday she boards the bus alongwith her three girl friends shouting and making space and securely getting near to the driver's seat. Such is the benefit of one's short height and big glasses. For Pankaj, these glasses are no way normal. They would make her eyes appear larger, her round blue eyes just like marble. Pankaj loved playing marbles so he carried 6 marbles everytime, everywhere. This time also he was carying them inside his school pant's both pockets. No cotton,no candies, just marbles, that's it. When he saw Kavya, he took out the larger marble from his white pant's right pocket and tried showing it to her. Kavya, as usual was least interested. She was thirteen and very much proud of her age. "I don't talk to kiddos like you." With a grin on her face, she dismissed Pankaj and moved away from him.
Pankaj didn't bother. As usual he would raise his eyebrows and pucker his face to show his dissatisfaction and how much he cared for her.

What is it feels like when you get a reason to smile. When you get a reason to forget all your worries and fill your mind with the very thought of feeling special? There is a story in everybody's life....Let's explore the life changing story of Pankoo a.k.a Pankaj and Kavya a.k.a Kavita.
~~to be continued~~

Click here to know what happens next- http://www.sarkartimes247.com/2017/08/continued-from-previous-part.html

~~P.S~~ 03.082017