P I Z Z A

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a dream for a piece of pizza

Submitted: March 13, 2018

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Submitted: March 13, 2018

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PIZZA  …a small bite of life

by

Atanu Dey

aatanu84@gmail.com

 

Kolkata, There are number of slums,there are number of people who stays in the footpaath,its their home. They cook,they eat,they sleep there. Its there world. Some are happy some have accepted these as their destiny,some takes the wrong turn to get out of these easily and probably dumped themselves along with some of the garbage. However there are people who believes that life will be  changed one day and whatever needs to be done will be done but without any wrong turn.

 

This story is about one of them. Gopal ,a 8 years old boy from Jadavpur area,who stays with his mother and sister who is 6 years old in the footpath near Jadavpur University. His father is no more ,he expired 2 years back due to excessive dringking of lequor. Gopal’s mother Meena works as house maid in few places nearby. She leave for her work early morning and comes late evening . However before leaving she cooks for them and its Gopal’s job to eat and make her sister eat too.

 

Gopal’s everyday is fixed to a cycle ,in the morning after his mother leaves for the job,he and his sister attend classes which is an intiative of Jadavpur University students to support the resident of footpath who either can not go to school or afford or has intention issues. There are 3-4 boys and girls from the univeristy who comes regulalry to teach them basic education.

Gopal enjoys these a lot and takes interst to learn new thing ,even he study when kids of his ages plays marbles or something else.

 

His everyday is in a specific cycle and he has nothing much to do. In the morning after his mother leave for job ,Gopal and sister attend the school (which is in the footpath only . Class taken by students of Jadavpur University) then once they are back ,they take bath in the roadside water which is arranged by municipality, after that its lunch time when he served food to his sister as well as he eats too. In the afternoon when its free time for him . Sometimes he keeps on gazing the film poster’s and he gets lost in his dream world. Though he never watches any cinema but knows the name of the actor RAJ ,he is famous and almost every other day there is a poster of his new film infront of the footpath wall where Gopal and family lives . Sometimes he goes to the Pizza store and keep watching people . He never tasted Pizza but wants to have a bite of it. He stands there ,he checks the people,boys and girls who enters the pizza store ,but he never asked any one while going or coming out of the store.

 

Today also is such an afternoon  where he spent sometime with the poster of RAJ’s new movie,then he comes infront of the Pizza store . He is gazing a middle aged copule who are enjoying the every bite of pizza, the way they are eating ,the way cheeze is coming out it creates a dramatic effect on Gopal’s mind somehow he is lost into a dreamland ,his mouth was open almost.

 

He was about to get a bite of it in his dreams, when he gets pushed by the security guard of the Pizza store  as the customers have complained.

Security Guaard :“ Chal nikal yaha se, kitni baar kaha hai yaha pe mat aana,fir bhi mooh uthake aa jata hai,bol apne baap ko kharid ke dene ke liye,”

The secuirty guard pushed Gopal reallly hard that he got number of scratches in his hand and legs,but he did not responded to that  as the last line of the scurity guard was echoing on his mind “BOL APNE BAAP KO KHARID DENE KE LIYE”

 

There is an irritation look in that customer’s eyes towards Gopal and they started eating their pizza again.

Gopal left that place while cleaning his hand and legs, its paining but somehow he is not reacting,may be those words have hurt him more than the cut and scratches .

 

Gopal’s mother Geeta is back from her work. She notice the cut and scratches on Gopal’s leg and hand.

GEETA : “Kaise hua , larai ki kisi se ?

GOPAL with no words and silently listening to what his mother is saying..

GEETA : “ Ohh ..fir se to gaya tha us dookan me, kitni baar samjahu tujhe mat ja..fir bhi chala jata hai dhakka khane”

 wo sab humare liye nehi hai…samajh raha hai tu…

(Geeta’s eyes full of tears)

GOPAL has no impact of whatever his mother is saying . Now he broke his silence ..

 

GOPAL : “par ma humlog kya ek pizza nehi kharid sakte?

 

GEETA : (got more angry,frustrated) “arre kisi tarah logon ka jhuta bartan saaf karke teeno ka pet bhar leti hu ..pizza kaha se aayega?

GOPAL: “ wo bhi nehi jo wo logo khake ,aadha chor ke chale jaatein hai?

Geeta pul him towards her and hug him tighly as she has no words for Gopal.

 

Another big,cheezy pizza is coming towrds Gopal slowly ,he can not resist to taste it and suddenly a jerk ,its GEETA’s voice “ uth ..main ja rahi hu kaam pe,khana kha lena aur choti ko bhi khila dena”

It was a dream …GOPAL feels sad even in dreams also he can not eat Pizza.

 

Today is Sunday there is no school today however those JU students have arranged to show movies to them and good news is that its RAJ’s movies . Today for the first time he will see a movie ,Gopal is excited.

Its evening and movie show is about to started ..Gopal is excited…

GOPAL: “ Tumhe pata hai ma aaj wo master log hum sab ko film dikhayega..wo bhi RAJ ka film,tum chalogi na?”

GEETA : “Main jaungi to khana kaun banayega,jaah …tu jaah choti ko leke,par jaldi aa jana”

 

Gopal is excited ,he makes his place along with his sister in a front row of that nearby field.

GOPAL is lost in the fight sequence …the way RAJ is fighting against the villain is making him happy . He lost in that action sequence he rub his eyes and found RAJ is beating the SECURITY GUARD of the  Pizza Store, RAJ is beating the middle age customer who complains about GOPAL. He enjoys it a lot.. he comes back home ,super excited and smiling.

 

GEETA : “ Kyun re kya hua”? has kyun raha hai

GOPAL : “ Kuch nehi re ma, aaj film dekha pehli baar,wo bhi RAJ ka,bahot maja aaya”

Geeta smiles and move her hand over Gopal’s head.

GEETA: “ Chal ja so ja”…

That night Gopal could not sleep that fight scene was infront of his eyes.

 

Its another evening ,Gopal is infront of the Pizza Story but not in front of it, he seats a little far away ,his eyes are on the store, on the customers ,on the pizzas, on the left over. He is almost lost in it.

 

Suddenly someone touches him from the back…he initially did not realise as he was engrossed with the pizza in dreams.

However he realize someone is there behind him and calling him .. “naam kya hai tumhara”

Gopal turn back and he seems to get lost in another dream ,his eye balls are coming out it seems.

Its RAJ,actor RAJ…

RAJ again ask him “ are beta naam kya hai tumhara”??

There is girl with RAJ who ask “naam bolo”

GOPAL responded…. GO ….GOPAL..

GOPAL : “ aap…aap wohi ho na …jo film karta hai…RAJ”

RAJ smiles and replies ha..

RAJ : “ main us building me rehta hu” (while pointing out a flat in high rise building oppostie to that Pizza Store)

RAJ: “ maine tumhe kahin baar  dekha hai..kabhi pizza store ke saamne,kabhi yaha…us din bhi dekha tha jab tumhe wo security wale ne dhakka diya”

GOPAL  feels ashmed,sad for the incident and he started looking here and there .

RAJ: “ Kaha rehte ho”

GOPAL without saying anything point out the footpath.

RAJ: “Ghar me aur kaun hai”

GOPAL: Ma..ek choti behan

RAJ : “PAPA..I mean pitaji..

GOPAL : “ wo to mar gayee”

RAJ feels uncomfotable while the LADY with RAJ ask GOPAL…Pizza khana hai…?

GOPAL  could not trust his ears…

LADY: Pizza…?

Gopal nod his heads .

The 3 walks towards the pizza store… its not less than any dream for GOPAL..

The same security guard salute while they enter the store..while giving a look towrds GOPAL…

People started giving extra attention as its RAJ and his girlfriend. They order a large pizza and seat .

While waiting RAJ ask whether Gopal study or not and many thing…but GOPAL is living his dream.

Finally the pizza arives and excitement in GOPAL is increasing like the temperature in summer.

RAJ pull one and give it to Gopal…

Gopal takes that his hand and started looking at it for long..but after sometime he takes a tisssue and started wrapping it.

RAJ and his GIRLFRIEND are unable to understand what Gopal is doing…

RAJ: “Gopal ..kya kar rahe ho ? khane ke liye hai ye”

GOPAL : “ kya main ise ghar le ja sakta hu,thoda choti ko dunga aur thoda ma ke..un logon ne bhi kabhi nehi khaya hoga..?” (he asked with full of innocense ..)

There was a mixed reaction in RAJ & his GIRLFRIEND eyes…

RAJ : “ Ye tum khao, un logon ke liye…balke tumhare waha pe sabhi ke liye aaj pizza jayega…”

GOPAL : “sach..sab ko aaj ye milega”? (exciteed)

RAJ : “ Ha sabko…tum khao…

RAJ called one of the Pizza Store staff and order 10 more pizza..

GOPAL take the Piiza out of the tissues and give the first bite to the most dreamed food of his life….and he realise that it taste exactly the same as it was in his dreams….

On that night all at GOPAL’s area got Pizza treat from RAJ & his girlfried.. it was a party for all of them who lives in that footpath…

A night to remember….

A smile of satisfation in GOPAL’s face..A smile in RAJ & his girlfriends face  …a smile of achievment ..a smile of satisfaction …

 

“A dream can be small, but see it to achieve it”


© Copyright 2018 Aatanu. All rights reserved.

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