Pic courtesy :Google
Ketaki ran rapidly and found it hard to breath after her continuous escape from the sports hostel that night. She wanted to escape. She wanted to run and never look back. So many voices ran through her mind. Don’t do this, Don’t do that, Don’t eat that, Don’t wear that. These wear the constant statements that defined her life. That night, she had it enough. She was scared but her freedom meant everything to her. After running for straight two hours she felt energy less and gasped for breath. Before she knew, she had fallen asleep.
Ketaki belonged to a small village and came from a poor family. Her parents had five children and she was the youngest. Her parents were farmers and for them it was either helping their parents in the field or playing. Life was simple and ketaki never had to think that she had to do anything in her life. She loved playing with her friends. It was because she used to run faster than anyone in the entire village. Even the boys would not compete with her. She enjoyed her victory every single time. It was like an electric moment when she would zoom past her contestants. She would win an orange or packet of biscuits as a token of becoming first. Soon she became the talk of the town.
One fine morning the Sarpanch along with a gentleman of the village came to her home and had a long talk with Ketaki ‘s father. She came to know that she had to leave her home and go to the town . There was a burning sensation which engulfed her. She hated her family for sending her off. She hated the Sarpanch and the Gentleman whom she addressed as Sir.
Soon her life changed when she had to live with so many children. Every thing was supposed to be done at the right time. She had new dress and so much to it. But what bothered her was that starting from getting up in the morning to sleeping at night, everything was a routine. Her sir was very strict with her. Ketaki realised that she was being trained as a sprint runner. The routine seemed lethal for her and all she felt was being caged. That was the reason why she had escaped that night.
Next morning when she opened her eyes. She realised that she was in her own bed in the same sports hostel. She saw her coach in front of her along with the Inspector who seemed to know her teacher. After few moments, the inspector left. Her instructor told ketaki to get ready to go to her village to meet her parents. She couldn’t believe her years.
It was almost an year that she was away from her family. During this period she had won many zonal tournaments and was somewhat recognised. Nothing else mattered to her. She accompanied her teacher to her village with all excitement to meet her family.
The moment she arrived, everyone in the village acknowledged her. She then went to her home. It took her a little while to recognise her own house. It was now a pucca house. Her parents embraced her with all their love. They said every positive change in their life was due to Ketaki. All this was so new for her.
She realised that all her prize money was sent to her house by her teacher. Her teacher had also taken care of her family as a well wisher and helped them get all benefits from the government by helping them write applications to the Tahsildar for providing benefits under government schemes .
Ketaki had never seen this avatar of her teacher. She always saw him as her tormentor. But seeing all these changes made her change her perspective. That day while returning back to her sports hostel, she for the first time held her teachers hands and smiled as a gesture of gratitude.
The next morning, she had to hear the same statements of Do’s and Don’ts but this time they had very different connotations. Ketaki put in her best in the training and her guru’s words were her first order command’s to be obeyed. She soon became the fastest runner in 100 &200 my category (in Under 15 years girls team) in the nationals held in Delhi and created new national records. A new life awaited Ketaki with open arms.
Pic Courtesy : Google
That day, the kite had flown very high. But the only reason behind this flight was string that pulled it back was the real support that helped it rise against the winds.