SHORT STORY: POVERTY

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

concern poverty warmth

    A poor and elderly couple, without fail used to visit a small railway station of a small town every day in the morning and evening. There, they used to wait for a particular passenger train. That used to arrive at six in the morning. The same train used to return at seven in the evening. Where, again they used to wait for its arrival. And when the train used to leave. They used to return to their home empty handed.

    But in the five minutes that the train halted. The couple used to go in opposite directions. One towards the engine and the other towards the end of the train. As if looking for someone, and often they used to call out a particular name.

    In the same platform there was a tea vendor. Who, had his tea stall there, for many years. He used to light his gas stove at 6 in the morning to make tea. His first customers used to be out of the same passenger train. For which this elderly couple used to come and wait each morning and evening.

    The tea vendor used to glimpse the couple quite attentively each day. Even while doing his brisk business. The passenger train was rarely late. And after midnight it used to be the first train in the morning.

    One morning when the train arrived as usual. The elderly couple went in opposite directions, calling out the same name. But as the train trickled out of the platform. They came and sat near the staircase trying to catch their breath.

    The tea vendor who used to watch them from a distance each day could not hold his inquisition today. He walked up to the elderly couple and asked,

    ‘I have being watching you both, coming to this platform, without fail, for years. What do you come here for? Are you looking for someone?’ He asked in a concerned tone.

    The couple looked at each other and the elderly man in a hesitant and guilty tone said,

    ‘Babuji some fifteen years back. In the same passenger train. We had left behind, three of our children, because we didn’t have money to feed them. So we come here looking for them. We shout for the elder one. Who was six then. Thinking he will remember his name and respond. But till date we have not met with any success.’

    This is poverty at its worst. It is a true story. In life we often get upset over minor things, even when God has given us everything. Remember, destiny can be extremely kind to some, and extremely harsh to others. So thank God, for each iota of goodness that you have in your life.

*****

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