“Didi mere ghar chalo na , please. Aap ko mai vada pao khilaungi.” With glittering eyes full of innocence and charm, Lalita never fails to make you smile. After being tortured and humbled with the
“Didi mere ghar chalo na , please. Aap ko mai vada pao khilaungi.”
With glittering eyes full of innocence and charm, Lalita never fails to make you smile. After being tortured and humbled with the invitation to visit her place, I finally decided to give Lalita a chance.
“Didi, sirf 10 minute lagega school se, walk kar ke chalenge.”
Lalita had been an amazing student, ready to learn, always smiling and one of the naughtiest kids. Sleeping in class every morning was a ritual and “Wash your face, Lalita” was an everyday norm for her. There was a story she was trying tell.
“Mai na akele ati hun roz, meri choti behen bhi humare school mein hai, uska naam Sita hai. Woh bahut koooot(cute) hai.”
Holding her hand and listening to her continuous chatter, I landed up at a nukkad. She took me to a tea stall. The tea stall looked dilapidated, a rusted tin shed above being the only protection. There was a platform made out of bricks. This was what she called her home. A lady was pouring tea in a glass and serving her customer. Lalita left my hand and ran to hug her mother. She could not utter a word more. Her didi had come to spend time with her and eat Vada Pav. I knew that all my students are from tough back grounds. But I could sense something different here.
“Namaste Aunty, kaise ho aap? “
“Mai theek hun didi, aap batao. Yeh toh aapke hi baat karti hair roz.”
Settling in a stool for a while, hearing to the story she had to say, everything was falling in place. Lalita and her parents were living 30 kilometers away from our school. Every morning at 4:30, they used to travel in a cycle to their tea stall. They ‘lived’ here from 5:30 in the morning till 12 in the night.
“Yehi toh kamate hai Didi, islie kaam toh zaruri hai.”
Lalita hardly used to get sleep. No one in her family did. With a vada pav in one hand and tea in the other, I listened to them, intrigued.
“Abhi hum paas mein ghar dhund rahe hai, agle mahine shift ho rahe hai. Ab bachon ke baare mein sochna hai.”
I was feeling relieved and happy. Every single member of the family would be at ease now, I thought. Narrating her likes, dislikes and challenges, Lalita’s mother treated me like her daughter. As I got up to leave, she packed one vada pav for me.
“Aap yeh le jao didi.”
One day I will read like you do Didi,
One day I will speak in english so fast,
I have already started to dream of what I want to be.
A teacher, who is funny, smart and friendly.