It was a beautiful Sunday evening along the sea shore of Marina. The beach was bustling with activity from children building castles, senior citizens taking walks along the lane , young couple enjoying the cool breeze and breath taking views of the Marina along with their loved ones ., there were many families enjoying themselves eating the famous beach sundal and chatting away to glory and the teen age crowd hanging out with friends and keeping them occupied with cricket , volley ball et all..
And not to forget the shops making a brisk business as it was another weekend with crowds of people thronging the beach …
It was here I met Kumar , he didn’t seem to enjoy the beach .. He was mesmerised in his own thoughts ( a serious one) .. As we (me and my mom) approached him.. the first thing we noticed in him was he was one another boy selling sundal in the shores of the beach.. But the two minute conversation we had with him changed our entire perception about him…
The conversation between Amma (my mom) and him :
(After ordering for the few sundal packets we wanted )
Amma asked him..
Amma : Do you go to school?
Kumar(the boy) : Yes
(this brought a smile in amma’s and my face .. thinking.. not bad he’s being educated)
Amma: Which class do you go to?
Kumar: 9th grade
(Me and amma were actually schoked … he looked too small for his age , he looked like a 4th grade student at the max)
Amma: Do you have your holidays going on now?
Kumar: Ya, today is Sunday ..So I don’t have school . I come here on weekends to earn for my school fees .
Amma: Which school do u go to?
Kumar: Corporation school
Amma: What’s your school fee?
Kumar: 100 rupee ( ya, the 100 bucks we spend on recharging, movies, junk food … )
(by this time he started feeling comfortable talking to us ) He continued talking to us.. but now there was a concern in his voice .. he was worried about his next year of education as the school fee is more compared to his current year as it’s the 10th grade..
This incident moved me so much… With so much economic development happening in Chennai and India there are still SOOO much people who suffer..
And one other important thing is the optimism Kumar had.. His poverty and bad health ( he looked so under nourished) didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream of getting a proper school education..