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DEPRIVED, YET DETERMINED.

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One hot Saturday afternoon I was relaxing with the magazine of the week in my hand, every Saturday being a holiday I make my me- time happen. That’s when I would grab the weekly magazine and rest back in my wooden arm chair, with lemonade by my side, it makes my every Saturday- perfect. Flipping through the matte-finish pages of the magazine, filled with news from all round the city and best photographs of the week getting featured, I found it a good pass-time. Took a sip of my lemonade and flipped the pages, that was exactly when a particular photograph caught my attention. It was a photograph of two little children- probably of age eight/nine, carrying books which seemed double their own size. They were wearing torn, worn out clothes and their hair seemed like they haven’t bathed in days. I could not decide what it was because the kids were smiling so well and seemed quite excited about something I didn’t understand, and under the picture there was a line which said, “they smile because of their dreams and not the reality”. Somehow, I became very eager to know more about them and wanted to know what was the dream that made them look so cheerful, so I planned to somehow reach to them and know it for myself. With the plan set in my mind, I contacted the photographer of the picture which made me grow curious, I found the contact details of the photographer on the down side of the beautifully captured picture.

I got to know that the children belonged to the streets of KR Town, so I decided to go and find them out the next day. I still believe it is because of my curiosity and excitement that it was Sunday so soon. I drove down, bought a few packs of chocolates, toys and some food so that I can distribute to those people who actually knew the value of food. On my reach at the streets of KR Town, to my surprise the first thing I found was a group of kids playing in round circles and with my keen eyes I spotted one of those kids I found in the photograph, the day before. I called out to the kids and with all their speed, they came running, with hello and few little talks I realized how happy they felt when someone came in search of and for them, very soon I took out and distributed the pack of chocolates, their eyes glittered because of their happiness. Then I slowly reached out to the one boy I found in the photograph, my curiosity made me jump directly to the question’ “what is your biggest dream” and the boy gave a quick reply, and from the expression of curiosity my expression changed to startlement. The boy in the torn dress, told me that he dreams to be a writer. The fact that he was probably 8 years or so and still dreams big did not make me go startled but I really wondered if he was attending school or if he knew the alphabets. Even to my amazement, I automatically asked him what he does all day, and his reply came in a jiffy. His words made me to respect him, but it took me a few minutes to realize that he spoke in English this time. I was surprised and his words were, “I do everything, I do the work of kabuliwalah (and I assumed he didn’t know the English translation which is rag-picker), I sell newspapers, I even go with tourists, to lead their way; and I also stick movie posters and learn new words from it”. His reply made me ask him more on how he learnt to speak, and he told me that he did all the work not just to earn some shillings, but to seek and learn. I asked him with all the excitement, “who teaches you?” and he replied that there lives a retired professor who lives in the colony near the town, he adds that she gives him food and gets him short story books; I smiled and he continued and added that the money he earns by doing all of the jobs, he would go and give half of it to the professor and the other half he gives to his parents as a contribution of his to run the family, he also said that indirectly the professor spends the money he gives, on him itself, so as to not make him have an urge to spend it unnecessarily or to lose the money he earned and he says the only thing the old teacher (as he calls her) demanded was that he should dream big and follow his dreams. I was way too happy and touched to know the whole story and then he said he loved his dreams and wants it to be the reality. With much respect for the boy and his teacher, I smiled and said, “you’re dreams will come true dear, keep chasing it”. And my heart, so full of emotions and surprise and respect, I decided to leave the place because it was already dark and as I bid bye to the kids and walked towards my car, in unison I heard the words- “thank you for spending time with us, we love you”. 

I was awestruck, I turned back and rush to them and looked at the children and asked them, “how ?” and I gave a smile and a girl pointed out to the boy who was learning from the teacher and the other children told me, “he shares and teaches us every other thing he learns from her, even if it be of slightest importance or the most significant one, he learns one new word and its meaning everyday and teaches us the same.”

I adore and respect every single character, the boy, the other children and the teacher and felt grateful to the photographer who helped me connect and know of these beautiful people. I realized that its Determination that takes any dream and aim, a step ahead. These children are deprived of comforts and luxury, but not deprived of Determination and the will to become special and prosperous in life. 

Determination, confidence, constant hard work, and motivation will help dreams become reality.

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