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A SPARKLING EYE AND A HEAVY SHOULDER


It was 6 o’ clock in the evening and there was a lot of traffic on the road, when suddenly I noticed a young boy of around twelve years old, in an old and torn greasy clothes with a sparkling and innocent eye. It was a weekend and the street was fully massed with people. I felt like the whole city was on the street. The boy was selling books and his books were sold like hot samosas in a food stall. I stood there under a street light and watched the boy for some time. As the dusk approached, the streets were fully lighted. Some stores had colorful lights while some were still in dark. I slowly walked towards one of the stores near where this boy was selling books and I asked the keeper of the shop about this boy. When I asked the keeper, he was reluctant to tell me but seeing me so much interested in knowing it, he told me about the boy. The boy, James, was of twelve years old and his situation brought him here. He belonged to a middle-class family and was living happily with his family. He lost his father few years ago and his mother was forced to find livelihood for the family by herself. She worked as a maid in several nearby houses and was somehow able to manage the expenses of their living and her children’s studies. But luck wasn’t with them. Unfortunately, this did not go long as she was also diagnosed with some illness. This forced him to work and sacrifice his studies. He had a younger sister and wished to educate her. He was left with no option than taking up a job. To begin with bread earning, he worked as an assistant in a garment store and then as a mechanic but nothing worked for them. He was the only one to take care of the family.



He had to find the money to pay for his mother’s treatment in order to keep her alive. When the shopkeeper was done saying these, I felt tears rolling down my face. I really had a voice resonating in myself to help him but did not have the courage to approach him. For a moment, I took a pause and counted my blessings one by one and thanked God whole heartedly and prayed for him. I felt sorry for this poor boy, forced to take up responsibilities on his shoulders at this very young age but also, side by side I was dumbstruck at his determination and love for his family. By then, it was almost dark and the street slowly emptied itself and the boy too got dissolved in to the crowd slipping from my sight. I then slowly walked to my parking lot thinking of this boy and his future life left helpless.

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