Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Boy Who polished the boots

Every morning he would sit on the farther side of road, leading to 'Ryan School'. He was a boy, hardly 9 year old, who used to polish shoes of children of that school. His boot polish store had one small carpet, few torn shoes, a steel cisterns with few pennies and a stone which acted as a raised platform where he used to put shoes to polish.
Today, there was something unusual. It was around 11.30 in morning and students were piled up for getting their shoe polished. He was quivering from one shoe to other, brushing the every bit of dirt from them with his brush and small box of 'Cherry Blossom', without knowing the reason behind such curiosity of students for getting their shoe polished.
Few minutes later, someone summoned them. There were still few left with unpolished shoes but the penny box was almost full with glittering pennies. They all ran towards the gate. After a minute or so, children came out with a large blue banner made from rayon cloth along with few others posters. It was looking like a rally as students lined on both sides of the road.
Police jeeps arrived at the spot. A policeman came to the boy.
'What are you doing here? Chal jaldi,Saamaan samet.' he threatened the boy.
Without an utter, boy folded his belongings in a wide cloth that hadn't been sewed for years, made his pocket gulp the penny box and stood by the side of 'neem' tree which was a few meter away from road's side. He was willing to see what is going on, on the most unappealing place of the world. His pocket was way heavier then it used to be on other days. He was quite sure about his meal under overhead sun and with the sum he had, he could even get food in night too.
An hour passed, students were still standing with their banners resting on ground. Suddenly their chat and buzz interrupted with several jeeps, tailing one another, and somewhere in middle of them, was a red-beacon ambassador. Students were once again on their toes, holding the banner upright. A women in white saree with maroon border came out of the ambassador with red-beacon. Children rushed to greet her and in turn she was greeting them too with a smile.
Boy was staring them all with his lid-less eyes. He couldn't listen to what the lady was saying to those children but their polished shoes were making an attempt to introduce him in the scene too. He almost forgot his heavy pocket. Minutes later, she peeped in her ambassador. Principal made his presence felt at very last moment as he gave her the good bye gesture.
Boot polisher counted the number of 'Jeeps' right passed him till 'chaar'. This is all he could count.
Blue banners held high till the crew disappeared.
'Ryan International School - We strive towards 'Right to Education' was written with silver paint, on that big blue banner.
Boy, with a boot polish store on his back, opened that steel penny-box and took out some coins. He had to buy a new 'dabba' of 'Cherry Blossom' for the next day.

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