He was sitting alone in a corner , soaked in water , tattered clothes , not a single ounce of flesh visible on his bones . He was trying hard to keep himself warm .But his fragile frame betrayed him . He was shivering like an old leaf caught in a storm. He folded his legs towards his abdomen & kept looking at a house across the street . He could see light in the house . The windows were closed , but he could see movements as the curtains were pulled away.
He got up from his place walked towards the entrance of the house across the street. Right now all he wanted was to protect his body from rain.He sat in the façade. His teeth were making clicking sound. His stomach was growling, he hadn’t eaten since last two days. For a 7 years old it was not easy to survive without food for such a period. He was an orphan, hunger became his destiny. He remembered the last time he eats, it was two days ago. He managed to sell a toy on the signal. He bought bread & curry .”How delicious was that”. The memory of food brought a smile on his face.
He always dreamt of a day when he would eat at his favorite restaurant that was at the same signal where he used to sell toys. He would order everything on “the card”, which he couldn’t read but knew that all costumers read it before placing orders. He would eat bread with “ghee”.After the meal is finished he would order “jalebi”. It was his favorite sweet. He used it at a nearby temple on Tuesdays, when some devotees distributed sweets & food among poor people. Tuesdays were his favorite days.
The rain stopped . He was about to move out of the façade, when a lady came out of the house & stood in front of him . He Looked at her but didn’t say a word .
She asked “I have been watching you for some time. Why were you standing in the rain. Look now you are fully drenched.”
He didn’t know that he was being watched . He thought probably the lady didn’t like him standing there
He explained how he took shelter in the house to save himself from the rain.
She looked hard at him ” where is your house ??”
” I live on food path near signal” he replied
“Oh , did you eat anything. You look famished ” she said
“No” he looked embarrassed.
“I will bring some food for you , stay right here ” she said.
He stood there . In a while , she came back with some food.
“Eat , ask for more if you need ” she said affectionately & went back inside.
He sat there and was about to eat his first morsel, a dog came running towards him. It stood at a distance looking hungrily towards the food. The boy thought for a second then he gave all his food to dogs. Dog ate up everything in a matter of few seconds. When finished it looked up at the boy & started wagging his tail in pleasure & gratitude. It came close to the boy. He patted him affectionately. The dog started barking. Hearing the bark, the lady came out again.
” Where did this dog come from ?? Have you finished your food ?? ” She asked
” No ma’am , I gave the food to hungry dogs ” He replied sheepishly
” Why ? I gave up food as you looked hungry & you gave it to this stray dog ?” She looked shocked
“Sorry ma’am , it was so kind of you that you gave me food . But the dog was hungry too, it looks as if it hasn’t eaten anything for long. If I am lucky , I will sell some toys tomorrow & buy some food .But this dog doesn’t have any such means. I can survive another night without food . I will survive ma’am” he replied
He runs out of the house . The lady kept looking at that direction till the little boy vanished in the dark…….