Ever since Raveena started working as an intern as a part of her Masters course in Journalism, she started feeling responsible and focused. The difficult child that she had been throughout, she now was learning to mellow down. Working with a brilliant creative team at 'The Bombay Times', she found a new meaning to her life. She started commuting through local trains; her journeys became more interesting as she started observing her commuter mates nearly, anything could be a story now. She was this bud who was desperate to bloom, she was every bit of that jet of water flowing through the narrowed nozzle cleaning dusty leaves and branches in the garden, she was just like those rain droplets; still and determined on the window pane of her car, once upon a time!
A few months ago, this wasn't the case. Raveena was passionless, clueless about her frigidity, she had no dreams and had lost all her charm. She was just like that little flower in the vase which wilted due to insufficient water. There was something going in her mind that she couldn't express. She had a fantastic life, a life of a princess but she lacked motivation, lacked determination and had lost her creativity. Anything in excess is poisonous and that was the case with her. Love, care, money and freedom whatever one could have asked for was served on her platter. Her new I-phone 6 failed to enchant her, that I-pad to which she was always glued to was no more drawing her attention, a chauffeur driven car had become a golden cage for her – she had a privilege to open the doors of this cage and free herself! A life that made all her friends jealous and were ready to trade for but within, Raveena was losing herself inch by inch every day.
A normal Sunday evening, showers hitting on her car's window pane, Raveena could relate herself to those drops which were trickling down and aimlessly making a path to settle down under the influence of wind. They had no choice, even if they wanted to stay there on the glass, they couldn't! Then with the harsh wind, slapped a poly bag on the window shattering all those droplets. What a life! She looked at Jolly, her driver who was driving with concentration, hands steering the wheel and head straight on his neck. The small teddy hung around the car mirror was dancing, wipers were moving faster and faster again crushing those droplets. The car stopped, the red signal light looked hazy as though it was dissolving in that rain. Suddenly there was a knock on the window pane, a girl in her early teens drenched in the rains, wearing a frock that was wet and hugging her body stood with some bestseller novels neatly wrapped in a transparent poly cover was trying to look at Raveena through the window pane.
Raveena pulled the glass down and looked at her. She was attractive, wheatish with her nose pierced, hair braided in two pleats with red ribbons and a prominent bindi between her eyebrows on her forehead. The girl was shivering but determined to sell her books.
Raveena asked her quickly, 'Naam kya hain tumhara?' (What is your name?)
The girl answered, 'Gehna'.
Raveena then questioned, 'School jaati ho?' (Do you go to school?)
Gehna with a light in her eye answered, 'Night school jati hoon roz' (I study in a night school)
The rain had stopped and signal changed from red to orange. Raveena quickly slid on the other side of the seat and opened the door, asked Gehna to get in before signal changes to green! Jolly was confused but he didn't utter a word, he took his position, hands steering wheel and head straight on his neck.
Raveena then gave a flannel to Gehna to dab that dripping water at least. Gehna with wide eyes was looking at the interiors of the car. This car was the best place she saw till date, spotless!
Raveena then asked Gehna, 'Why do you sell books on roads? Do your parents ask you to do this?’
Gehna first dried that poly cover and then rubbing that flannel on her hands she said, 'Thank you for this ride in your car. I like your car very much and you are very beautiful. My parents are no more, they both passed away last monsoon, probably drowned in a manhole, don't know what happened. I live with my Maasi (mother's sister) and she has no children. She earns enough to live a life and saves a little so that I can attend night school. My parents always dreamed that I will read and write books, very big books. After they passed away, I decided to sell books and this earning would help my Maasi too.'
Gehna was still wet, her eyes and eyelashes were moist, looking at Raveena she smiled. and said, ' I want to grow up and become a writer, want to write big books and fulfill my parents dreams.'
Jolly was listening but didn't express. Raveena absorbed every word, something moved her
and something motivated her.
and something motivated her.
Gehna then keeping her books on her lap innocently asked to Raveena, 'Didi, what do you want to do when you grow up? Do you also want to write books like me?'
Raveena said nothing, she herself didn't know the answer but this question was enough to stir her.
She simply said, 'I love to read and want to buy all these books from you.'
She was glad that she met Gehna and Gehna was very happy to have been able to sell all her books. At the next signal, Gehna alighted and bid a good bye to Raveena. The sky was clear, rain drops were just like pearls sitting on the window pane, the cocktail of sublimed lights through these pearl droplets was mesmerizing, droplets looked determined for once and so was Raveena.
Sometimes a good-bye is essential, that good-bye was actually a new beginning, a new journey for Raveena. A journey full of motivation, determination and passion.
Most of the times, it takes an incident or a moment or a story like this to jolt you, bring in self-realization. Determination never dies, it only gets buried somewhere under a mound and an incident, a moment or a story like these scavenge through this mound and dig out Determination- just like that rain, aimless droplets and Gehna evoked long lost 'Determination' in Raveena.