Saturday, July 7, 2007


13 yr old Ritu was too excited for the Darjeeling trip. Her exams were over one week before and she was just dying to go out for some tour which her father had promised before. Well it was a Friday and she was on the peak of her excitement. Her parents and she had already boarded the train and sat on their respective seats after keeping the luggage in the safe place. She had taken her favourite window seat despite anybody else's permission. She had been searching for some same age group passenger so that she can have a good time pass. But after few minutes of ransacking with her eyes she found no results. Suddenly she realised that she was hungry. She had not taken her lunch properly due to the excitement of her much awaited dream coming true. She asked for the tiffin that her mother had packed for the journey. They prefer home food rather than the junk food found in the platforms. They are really bad for health. They know that. The moment she opened the tiffin box and found the mouth glittering sandwitches she saw a thin bony hand covered with dust coming in through the train window. It was a hand of a poor child of nearly her age. Ritu asked unknowingly," What do you want from me ? I have no money. Its with my father."The child without changing her ex-pressions said," food."She added," I have not ate for 3 days."Ritu , who was always of kind nature forwarded her tiffin box without a word. She felt more pleasure in seeing the poor child defet her hunger than having those sandwitches herself. The anonymous poor child ate without even stopping for a while and finished all the food. Ritu was delighted at the sight but her feelings changed when she found that the child after eating the food, glimpsed at the tiffin box and ran fast with it and within a moment she lost in the crowd. Ritu felt like crying. She knew that she will get a thrashing from her parents for her activity but to add to that she felt betrayed. She felt shattered. She will not believe anyone from now. If this was the price that she had to give for being kind then she will change her attitude. The train was about to leave and some tears rolled down her eyes thinking of the bashing she will get. The whistle blew and the train started. What a way to start a trip. Suddenly she found the same hand coming in through the window holding the tiffin box. She was wondering the reason of her coming back and found the answer herself. The child had gone to wash the tiffin box for her. She could do only that in return. Ritu took the tiffin box from the child and the running feet stopped. The child only waved her hand standing on the platform. That was the only way she could say," THANK YOU!!!!!!"

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