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One afternoon at a busy railway station, at the corner, I saw an old woman. She was wearing a multicolored saree tattered from every corner and soaked in dirt. Her hair was frizzy and appeared to be dirty. Her face betrayed the hard journey of her life and eyes carried the stillness of an ocean.
Someone had given her a piece of bread which she was gorging at a very fast pace.Â After completing her food she wiped her hands and mouth with her drape. There was a tea stall at a distance, which she stared at for a while. Seeing no hope of getting a cup of tea, she took out a blue diary and pen. She shielded the diary with her drape and started penning down something. Noticing this, a seed of curiosity rose in my mind. Until now I was thinking she was just some beggar, who has decided to do nothing and help the country look more miserable.Â In every nook and corner we can find one or two of the variety sitting idle and begging. Often, I wonder about the reason behind their begging. The thought of sitting idle and begging has always bothered me.
As I kept pondering at the topic, a loud honking of a train entering the station jolted me from my thoughts. Unable to control my curiosity, I went near that lady and peeped in her diary. Sensing my prying she hid her diary with the drape. Annoyed, I gave her a full on ‘Go to Hell’ look and went back to my seat. Now, curiosity was playing a ping pong game in my head. It was not ready to accept defeat. Above all, why the hell was she begging if she was educated?
After a while my friend arrived from the train; with a heavy heart, I rested my thoughts and left the railway station.Â After every minute the image of the blue dairy and the beggarâ€™s wrinkled face and painful eyes blocked my mind. Her eyes spoke so much about her life, I was so anxious to know about her lifeâ€™s journey and about the blue dairy.
After a few days, I made another visit at the railway station and to my great happiness she was still there. This time the lady was fighting with someone at the top of her voice. The quarrel had managed to gather a small crowd. The man suddenly lifted her hand to hit her, her voice dropped and she ran for her hiding. I followed her, the woman hid under a nearby staircase; her eyes were red and filled with tears.
Her weeping melted my heart and forced me to go near her. I bought food from a nearby stall and kept it in front of her along with a Rs 100 note and urged her to eat. She bent down, collected the food and the money and ran.
The next day, I was back at the station, with sweets and home cooked food.Â I wanted to help her get out of this miserable life and for that I required time and patience. Without wasting much time, I started looking for her. There was chaos all around at the station; I overheard few people speaking about somebodyâ€™s death on the railway track. Cursing the dead person for creating such a chaos I resumed my search. Reaching her spot I saw it was vacant, confused I went to the nearby tea vendor and inquired about her, to which he casually replied, â€śShe jumped near a train an hour ago, all this chaos is for her.â€ť
My mind went blank. I stood numb; over the weeks I had developed a slight liking for her as a human being and I wanted to help her. I wanted to know about her miseries and wanted to drag her out of it.
My mind was not ready to accept the fact that the lady was gone.Â Time flew by and I prepared to leave the station, life of the platform was back at its usual pace. At that point, in the busy railway station, my questions were left unanswered but the incident taught me an important lesson in life.
We all have adopted IGNORANCE as part of our life. Had I not ignored the lady on the very first day, I could have saved her life; guided and motivated her and showed her the light towards a better living.
The Blue Diaryâ€™s Secret (later as told by the tea vendor):
She had studied till 8 or 10th class and knew to read and write partially in Hindi. She was a widow and few years back her son had left her leaving behind a phone number. Her son kept touch for a few months but suddenly the calls stopped. Since then the lady stayed at the railway station hoping to see her beloved son one day. She used to jot down his number every day in the dairy so that it does not skip her mind. She also jotted down the amount of money that she saved for him.
The morning she died, she had finally met her son. He was in a local train with his wife and children. She ran towards him with happiness and straight away hugged him, tears floated down her cheeks. But to her great dismay her son kicked her and tried to shoo her away and told her how she was nothing else but a burden for him. Ignoring the insult she tried to reason with him and showed him the money and the diary as a proof. The man snatched the money, tore the dairy, pushed her and left with his wife and children. She got up, called for her son for one last time but her son did not turn back and left at a fast pace. Her last ray of hope drained out of her body and she jumped in front of a speedy trainâ€ť.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
While pursuing my graduation in electronics and communication, I realized my life had nothing to do with why AC (Alternating Current) was passing DC (Direct Current) or why we had to turn into Aryabhata to answer which resistor or capacitor would fit in place. In the final semester, programming of Microcontroller introduced itself and our brief meeting was more than enough to kill the budding engineer in me. So after completing my graduation, I took writing as a full-time job. Of course, the transition was not easy and after 5 years of continuing in this field, I still encounter the question â€śWhy did you choose to become a clerk after engineeringâ€ť (I can be seen typing/writing/working all day). Over the years, I have tried my hand at various genres of writing such as Resume Writing, Blogging, Story Writing and Content/Website Profile Writing. Extracting the key points from a person's job profile and writing an impactful story in the form of a resume has always been my major area of Interest. So far I have worked for Top notch clients who were associated with big giants such as Google, Facebook, Walt Disney, IBM, Microsoft etc. Each day is a new stepping stone of learning, so I would call myself a truly passionate writer, who is keen to pour her heart out and let the rhythm of my words dance in sync with the readers.
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