Can I Read???

Young minds showing the way

Walking and walking

The perennial walking of a rat race

Unused road like unused mind

Lazy morning

Eager to melt in to breathless day soon

Late for the walk

Gasping for air and life at the same time

Trying to rest after a walk

On old cinder bark

Misty and of course dusty…

The smell of cotton fields nearby

The large army of little soldiers

Starting their daily work at five in the chilly morning

Sleepy eyed yet active

Unbrushed teeth

Freezing November chill brushing them past

To unknown paths, ways

Taking their plight

But who will fight the might??

Wind carrying their stories

Laughter while plucking cotton

Movies they have no time to see

Games they never going to play

All in a capsule…

I am listening

The so-called

Civilized human being

“Allo” some one calling me

So deep in thoughts of mine,

I startled and see the caller

A boy with a plucked cotton bag

Wearing a uniform

Probably white and blue

Now grossly indefinable in color,

Sure… they are someone’s used

Since so long time

Vintage clothes indeed

He is smiling

Dirty clothes and flashy smile

Taken aback at his “allo”

“Can I take that paper?”

He asked

I forgot I am carrying newspaper

“This is news paper”

Flustered I said…

“I can read” … a cool, confidant reply

You been to school” curious I asked

“No! But I can read” he says

Amazed I gave the paper

Watched him skip the news and read about movies

Reluctantly he tried to return the paper

“Keep it” my voice mingled with resumed walk

Jogging again… past fields of laughter, sunshine jokes

I am smiling with moist eyes

They are reading….

New horizons opening

With many mind windows… every kid has a key

Life is purposeful!!

[Kids work in so many ways, ruining their childhood and fun. One such field is working in cotton fields; they employ very young kids of age 12-15 because they work hard, such work is highly hazardous to health of young kids, affecting their lungs with cotton dust. Project read India prompted me to write this piece. It is amazing what reading can do to a young mind and eventually his/her life. —SPM]

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