Trivial incidents could make any journey memorable, so was this one, however, the incident making this Journey memorable couldn’t be termed as trivial.
So here I was travelling by train in this almost new city for me, Kolkata. It was early days of winter, the period of a year when you could actually say “Winter is Coming”. I missed the train which I was supposed to take, so I got on to the next one. Peacefully sitting by the window side and carelessly glaring at the sceneries. I was comfortable and the journey was smooth. This ephemeral peace was put to an end by a boy. A boy in his school uniform aged between 5 and 8. Seems harmless, right ?
This boy with sheer innocence in his eyes, on his way to school, he was selling ” CHIKKI” ( a crunchy sweet made from peanuts and jaggery ) in the train. Screaming “Tina éka” ( Bengali of “three rupees for one piece”) at his loudest but with a feeble voice, managing to draw the attention of at least 3-4 passengers at a time. He just stole all the peace, leaving me restless. While I was still recovering, I overheard a lady. She said a lot of things in Bengali but from what I understood I think she said: ” Everyday this poor child travels by this train and sells chikkis to help his economically poor family and still goes to school.” . Listening this made me even more restless, I took out a ₹20 note and bought 6 of his chikkis. And that’s all I could have done. He just went on…..then I saw him getting off the train at next station.
I was aghast, I couldn’t think of anything else the whole day. I had many questions many of which were answered by his innocent but doleful eyes. But the unanswered questions didn’t let me be at peace.
So I ended up taking a decision. The next day I took the same train but this time instead of buying chikkis, I gave him a box of each pencil, sharpeners and erasers. Again he said a lot of things in Bengali which was too much for me to understand but his eyes twinkling like stars and his smile sparkling like crescent moon expressed everything.
Since that day, I take deliberately miss my scheduled train and take this train get on to the very same coach and buy 3 chikkis from him, and we exchange a smile which makes my day.
This won’t make a lot of difference but I’m happy doing this.