[ultimate_heading main_heading=”Souvenir by Rajiv Saini – Issue.XIX : August 2016 ” main_heading_color=”#1e73be” sub_heading_color=”#8224e3″ spacer=”line_with_icon” spacer_position=”bottom” line_style=”dotted” line_height=”1″ line_color=”#1e73be” icon_type=”custom” icon_img=”id^48|url^http://ashvamegh.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Ashvamegh-ICO.jpg|caption^null|alt^Ashvamegh Journal Icon|title^Ashvamegh ICO|description^null” img_width=”48″ main_heading_style=”font-weight:bold;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:34px;” line_width=”3″]how little things remain with us as memento…[/ultimate_heading]


Introduction to the Author:

Rajiv SainiSh. Rajiv Saini is currently working as Assistant Registrar in University of Delhi. His qualification includes B.A. (Hons.) English, Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication, Master of Social Work, LL.B, PG Diploma in Business Administration, etc. His area of interest lies in English Literature is Life and its miseries, morality and spirituality. He had been student editor of his college magazine ‘VESPER’ in Zakir Hussain Post Graduate (Eve.) College. He did his Schooling from Ramjas School No.2, Anand Parbat, Delhi. He has a strong belief in the teaching of Swami Vivekananda and his writing also shows that influence.

No respite was in sight for the searching eyes for some shade as the unrelenting fury of the Sun directly above head arm in arm with the hot air blowing, was not allowing even one’s own shadow to stand. Vinay and his son Harsh were waiting for his cousin Dhruv to come out of Nursery Wing of the School. The uneasiness and discomfort was visible on every face. There was fifteen odd minutes for the last bell to ring. The crowd of Vendors—Khatta-Meetha Churan ki Goli Wala, Tofee Wala, Pop-Corn Wala, Ice-Cream Wala—were all set here and there waiting for their little customers. The vehicles were tightly packed on both sides of the narrow road outside the School gate, offering no further accommodation to the other vehicles in wait. Rickshaw-Pullers were also competing for their share of the space. As usual, the parents, mostly mothers, might be spotted waiting in small groups of preference, to fulfill their daily routine. Their indistinct chatter still gave an impression that they were talking about the academic matters of their preschoolers and about their teachers. All this gave a crowded appearance to the scene leaving one to wonder where the space is left for the kids to come out. All of a sudden an argument in progress between an Ice-Cream Vendor and a kid drew the attention of Vinay, who lost in his thoughts, was standing on the left side of the gate with son Harsh close to him.

“Why .. you have given me this 20 paise coin instead of Rs. 5 coin in return.” A kid was debating his stand with an Ice-Cream Vendor. “I paid you Rs. 10 to buy an Ice-Cream in the next street.” Said the little boy. There was agitation in his voice and posture.

The golden, out of circulation, 20 paise Coin, tightly clutched in the young hands of the boy, was akin to similar shaped present day Rs. 5 coin, a striking similarity capable of taking advantage of the failure of the senses to grasp details in routine.

“Get away; Do not tell a lie; I have’nt even sold you any ice-cream leave aside my giving you 20 paise coin in place of Rs. 5 Coin.” countered the Ice-Cream Vendor with a sharp note.

The altercation continued, no one gave up. The world around them busy in its own ordeal had no time for this happening, seemingly looked at as a trifle. This one argument between the generations was penetrating deep in the soul of Vinay. Harsh was equally agitated. The boy from his appearance was not inviting impression of a liar.

Could a boy of this age practice dishonesty and further support lie with arguments?…

Would the line of poverty which marked the standard of living of an ordinary Ice-Cream Vendor compel him to avail deceit for the gain of Rs. 5? ….

Was it the fear of losing a day worth of pocket-money causing this little spirit to undergo torment?….

Did that little spirit need mercy?…

All these questions, and any judgment on who is right, did not sound any worth to Vinay, as he gently moved towards the little boy with empathy brimming in his eyes. He gently took the little hand of the boy and replaced his sweat soaked 20 paise coin with a Rs. 5 coin. The boy looked straight into the eyes of Vinay. Silence followed for a moment for the boy to assimilate the stroke of peace which flooded to cool his agitated heart and lend glow to his grim face. The ice-cream vendor—who by now made sense of goings-on— was feeling equally relieved after giving a few justifying words for his stand. Distracting abruptly, the shrill sounds of the school bell now grasped the attention. The incident left Vinay wondering—why wisdom says that peace cannot be bought with money. The little Harsh, in consequence of his age, was untouched by the philosophy of honesty, peace, generosity and virtues, but the feel which goodness brings was distinctly visible on his little innocent face. He now stood firmly on the ground like a plant standing upright with its roots holding it to the ground, as though something made him forget the burden of his bag which was making it difficult for him to stand properly.

That 20 paise coin remained as a Souvenir with Vinay.