Deepak was groaning in pain when he opened his eyes. He looked around and found Sohan sitting near him. “Oh, what is this? Where is he? And his hand is bandaged?”
On seeing Deepak opening his eyes, Sohan asked him how he is feeling.
The whole incident of the previous night flowed in front of is eyes. He remembered last night when in the Dhaba he was carrying the vessel of boiling water for washing the utensils, he slipped and all the boiling water was over him. He cried out in pain. After that he does not remember what happened to him. When he came back into consciousness he found himself in a Hospital bed. Sohan told him that the Dhaba owner has given his monthly salary towards the cost of his treatment and asked him not to come for work again. On hearing this, Deepak’s eyes got filled with tears.
Sohan and Deepak stayed in a small rented room near the Dhaba. Sohan and Deepak came back to their room. Sohan has been staying here since a long time, Deepak came here a few months back only. Here both of them became friends. Deepak belonged to a well-to-do family. Both were working together in the dhaba.
Both of them were child laboureres. But their stories were different. While Sohan was a victim of circumstances, Deepak landed here because of his bad habits. Sohan’s father died and none of the relatives was ready to provide him shelter. He wanted to study, but he had no means to continue his education. For his survival, he started working in the dhaba. At the same time, Deepak was the only son of a wealthy family. His parents wanted him to study and become a good man. But, Deepak was not interested in studies. He would always escape the school to go to his friends and loiter around with his friends. He started drinking. Somehow he managed to pass in class 9th, but failed in class 10th examinations. He was horrified of his parents reaction, so he left home and fled.
After that he was on roads for many days. When he was very hungry he went to a dhaba. But, he had no money in the pocket. What would he do?
Here he met Sohan. Sohan looked at his condition and discussed with the dhaba owner, to give some work to Deepak. Now he had to work hard in the dhaba in day time and bear all scolding and beatings of the dhaba owner. On the smallest mistake also, he got beaten-up badly. He now was regretting his mistake. Every now and then, he would remember his parents love and affection. He realized the importance of studies. But, what could he do now? How could he go back and face his parents? He himself selected this life for himself. He realized his mistakes and his condition and cried.
Sohan saw him crying and console him. Sohan’s support encouraged Deepak to share his story with him. Sohan told Deepak- “It is never too late my friend, whenever you wake-up is the morning for you. Here you are thinking about your parents and crying, think how they must be feeling? You have realized your mistake. Now go back with a clear heart and ask for forgiveness. No parent can remain upset from their children for a long time. They will be very happy. Go back and start studying again and fulfill their dreams.”
Deepak asked Sohan to come with him. Initially Sohan was not ready to go with Deepak, but when Deepak insisted he went with him.
Deepak embraced his parents and wept. His tears were telling his realizing his mistakes. After that he introduced Sohan to his parents. He also told them that Sohan has showed him the right path.
Deepak’s parents conveyed their thanks to Sohan and requested him to stay with them. Sohan as if got his dream come true. He stayed back with Deepak. He also have a family now. Deepak and Sohan started studying again.
Written by Arpit
Translated from Hindi by Manasi Dash