It was the first story that he had written. And he had written it all by himself. Even though he was just ten years old, he had written such a thoughtful tale.
He read it to himself. It was sheer joy to dress one’s thoughts in the flesh of words! It wasn’t just the idea behind this beautiful tale. Maturity, expression, words, planning and execution – these were as much important as the plot. He had worked so hard at it. He had apple-picked each word in the story. It wasn’t just a story but the blood of his life splattered on the page in a beautiful pattern. Maybe he didn’t have any dime on him, but he had creativity, innovation and the enviable art of storytelling in his hands. Of course, he knew that innovation or creativity do not fill your empty stomach. But the silver lining was that they feed your heart, however useful that maybe.
He went through the story once again. A proud smile lit up his face once again. It read so well. He had done it. With all the amateur collection of his experiences, the countless never-ending sorrows, the scant bit of happiness, and of course with the evergreen poverty, he had composed such a mature tale. For a moment there he was happy about his miserable condition. He didn’t know whom to thank for this exceptional achievement. Undoubtedly, poverty had played its miserable role so well. And so had the frequent heart-breaking sorrows. But somehow he felt that they didn’t deserve the grand credit. He stopped his thoughts for a moment. He looked around his poor house. The walls were damped and the roof was leaking. In a corner, he saw his mother poking the fire in the mud-stove. And in a flash, he remembered his mother’s constant sacrifice, her chastisement from the little gifts of life, the creases of tension on her face, the grey hair of toil and burden on her head and the her eternal poking at the fire. He now knew whom he had to thank.
And how happy would she be to see his creativity and potential! Finally a smile would appear on her face once she reads the beautiful tale. What joy will she derive from the pleasure of knowing that her hard-work and sacrifice weren’t cast away uselessly! It would make her struggle a bit worthwhile.
And so picking up the page he marched towards her. He wanted to see a shine in her eyes, as she read the dramatic climax of the story. She would marvel at his fine choice of words and tell him how proud she was of him . But he hadn’t advanced even two steps, when he stopped dead in his path. A lump appeared in his throat. Suddenly, he wanted to sob. A few tears rolled down his ten year old cheeks. He looked at the paper in his hand. And then at his deaf, illiterate mother, who was busy poking the fire in the mud-stove.