Bilu, as usual, was seated in that corner of the lane.His torn clothes and his sunburned complexion would melt anyone's heart.You could sense his hunger from the aura of his eyes, slowly waved his totted tin can towards the passers-by.Some people stared at him for a moment and passed on and some kind ones would offer some rusted coins.
Bilu was quite ignorant towards his work that day, he only managed to earn a total of ten rupees by begging.what in the earth could a ten rupee can buy in these times. Durga Puja(festival) was coming, crowds of people flooded the market, people were buying colorful dresses.There was commotion everywhere.He could feel the enjoyment in the air but not to the full extent, he didn't want any shirt nor a toy he just wanted to taste the delicious looking sweets from "Kamal Mistanna Bahandar"(a well known sweet shop)which was just two blocks away from him.The time flowed and it was 12'O clock.Bilu was hungry, he rose up and started walking towards his slum, he walked at a slow pace.On reaching his small hut he found his mother waiting for him.
Mother" Bilu, why you are so late??show, show me how much did you earn?"
Bilu"Dos Taka (ten rupees) ",
Mother"Ok fine, that's enough"
Bilu"Mother I am hungry",
Mother"Son there is no rice in-house, go and buy something to eat from the money you have"
Bilu"Mother you?aren't you hungry?"
Mother"I ate some leftover stale rice"
Bilu left the house to buy himself some food.Bilu had not eaten freshly cooked rice for many days only stale one was on his fate.Sometimes his mother managed to cook some hard rice with a boiled potato, those days were a feast for him.As he was walking through the street thinking sky and earth, all of a sudden he stepped on something.As he looked down to see what it is, he was shocked. It was a new fresh crunchy 100 rupees note.He was thunderstruck.He picked up the note and without caring of anybody he ran and hid behind a wall.There he slowly unfolded the note and checked "Yes!it is 100% real" he thought to himself.At that moment he had the greatest joy in his life.It made him feel like the king.You know childish thoughts.He made in his mind that, he will have all the money and buy many sweets from the shop(Kamal Mistanna Bahandar) rather he would buy the whole shop.
He walked towards the sweet shop, the shop was filled with colorful mishti(sweets).He peeped through the glass showcase and as he was going to place his order, a small boy maybe his was 3 or 4 came and begged money to him, literally he was crying.This moved Bilu, he had also gone through this situation and could clearly relate.So he took out the 100 rupee note and thought that it would be the best to give the money to the child.He went to child handed him the money and ran away.Bilu's eyes filled with tears because his wish of eating the sweets was shattered.But he today realized a new form of joy, the joy of giving.Being a beggar himself he never had this feeling of donating something before.It was an alien experience for him but made him feel good.He felt selfless.He never thought that he will experience something like this, as according to his charity, donation, and selflessness were words for the rich.
He still had the ten rupees , with that he brought a packet of biscuits and went back home.With a big smile on face.Next time he would surely buy all the sweets but with his own earnings.
© Hritam Mitra, 2018. All rights reserved.