It was quite late in the evening that day and I closed the school gate after everyone left. Manoj Sir, who always leaves quite late, had waved me goodbye. I stared at the school building where I have served for almost seventeen odd years! It was not only my second home now but my identity as well. The students, the parents, and even the faculty fondly know me as ‘Chacha’. I sometimes take a little pause to recall my real name! More than anything, the smile in everyone’s eyes when they call me ‘Chacha’ is what I love the most.
The time after exams, especially during holidays is the time when days seem a little extended. With the evaluation of answer sheets, the staff seems busy and the school seems empty without the students. School without students and a house without children probably feel a little incomplete. Maybe because I have always loved children. How did even my children grow up so fast? And when children are no more children, they can seem very distant. And why not? They grow into different individuals altogether with their own ideologies. Everything seems fine, until one day you want to go back in time when you crave their innocence! You want them to ask you silly questions! You want them to annoy you to get that particular toy! You just want to relive the same experience, I guess. Well, time always moves forward and so all you can do is just walk down the memory lane. Right now, I just wish the schools to reopen soon, where I can see the sea of innocent faces running into the school gate and calling me Chacha with their big smile.
With such thoughts in my mind, I took out my cycle from the parking area and rode my way back home. Just near the Chaak where I had to take a left turn to reach my home, I suddenly remembered that I had to buy some vegetables . I took a U-turn and then took the right turn towards the Sabji Mandi. I had just gone a little distance when I heard a soft cry. Perplexed, I looked around but I could not see anyone! I peddled one more round but the cry this time was distinct and clear. I got down as I just could not ignore it. I had to find out! I kept my cycle and looked around. Nothing, there was nothing. Suddenly there was a loud cry and then it felt as if it was choking! I heard silently and could trace the source. It came from the dustbin! To my shock, I put my hands in it and then, someone grabbed my finger! I felt something move in my heart at the moment. It was as if waiting for me. I quickly took out the packet and to my disbelief, within the folds of plastic bags, I found a little life gasping for breath, for life! There were stray dogs nearby with their sharp canine teeth and tongues waving out! My heart had skipped a beat already by then. What if I had continued to ignore the cry and peddled my away? I looked again at the serene face. The almond-shaped minute eyes opened and looked at me while melting me. The soft pink skin looked dull and the cute little hands were still holding my finger tightly. She let out a big cry and I held her close to my chest. That moment was pure bliss which probably I can never put into words. I looked up and asked God, “How long … how long will this continue? How long will a girl child be treated as an alien in her own home, her own country? How long will this xenophobia remain valid? Why can’t a human being accept his own child? Even an animal takes care of its offspring but how can parents even think of abandoning their girl child? And how can YOU see all this silently?”. I kissed her mini forehead. You are my Xenia, my most awaited guest of honor and I promise to give you all my love my child. You are going to be my Princess with her own shining armor.
Till when will this xenophobia against girl-child continue? Till when will we continue treating girls as strangers in our societies and abandon them? Till when?
I have decided to take up an emotional joy ride with this year’s A2Z challenge where my focus is to showcase different aspects of human behavior . I will be penning down pieces of fiction centered around emotions in alphabetical manner. I have a title for my theme and it is : A little bit of you; A little bit of me .
I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z -2021
You can click on the alphabets below to read the stories that have been published so far.