Saturday, December 17, 2011

The one eyed boy

As my train left the dusty, fly infested town of Churu behind I settled into my hard fought window seat and watched the sand dunes of the Thar roll by. Exotically named stations like Bissau, Mahansar, Kayamsar went by and we rumbled into Fathehpur Shekhawati. A nondescript town which had its 15 minutes of fame in the film Ghulami. My reverie was broken by the sharp sounds of two stones being clattered together to the tune of some long forgotten song.

Turning, I saw this boy perhaps 7 or 8 years in age - one of thousands such children that you come across in Indian trains. Travelling from station to station singing improvised versions of film or devotional songs while clattering a unique musical instrument made of two flat pieces of stone or tile and hoping to make some money out of the largesse of passengers. Most of them are homeless and this one was no exception. Most of them have a twinkle in their eyes as well. A hard life does not always win over mischief and innocence that comes with this age.

This one was different though, he had only one eye. It was full of sadness and melancholy. I tried talking to him, he didn't even tell me his name. I tried giving him 20 rupees -  he took only ten, grudgingly. He then turned away and started singing. In a voice that could shatter a diamond and sadness that could melt gold.


Kanth said...


Anonymous said...

I don't know how I came across your blog, but I am glad I did. Your travelogues have a soul, and are absolute treats to read. You write of things beyond just stay and food in the places you visit, and that is what I love reading. You have changed the way I will travel henceforth.

Bookmarking your blog. Will be back to read more.