the bike, the shoe and tears


Nirved was a young and ambitious man doing engineering from a reputed college. His college had a policy that students who had their homes within a radius of 40 km can opt to not stay at the college hostel and come from their homes instead. This policy was a boon for Nirved’s family because the additional fee of keeping Nirved in a hostel would have been difficult considering Nirved had 3 sisters all of whom were studying in different colleges and Nirved’s father was the only earning member of the family. Nirved nonetheless was a brilliant student and he was sure he would get a decent job during the on-campus recruitment drive. He wanted to spend more time on studies but it took him almost 4 hours daily to commute to college and then back home. He had been telling his father to get him a bike but his father was unable to buy one for him and this made Nirved very angry. Nirved assumed his father didn’t understand his condition and was in no mood to buy what he wanted and was just postponing the idea.

Few months later, Nirved got placed in a multinational company and everyone was very happy. Soon he was out of college and got his offer letter. The place of his work was even further from home and he still didn’t have a bike. He kept on cursing his father for not gifting him a bike. The thought of going to office navigating the traffic snarls of a big city and then back home was something which irked Nirved. He joined office and saw that most of his colleagues either had a bike or a car. He was the only one in his team who used to commute using public transportation.

Months passed and Nirved still didn’t have a bike. One day he decided it was enough. He thought he would stay as a paying guest near office to cut on the commute time. It meant Nirved will have to pay for the new place and since it was in the city the rent was high. His parents convinced him to not shift to a new location but Nirved was adamant.

The day he had to move, he was already late for office and by mistake he wore his dad’s trouser and shoes. He rushed to the bus station but hardly had he walked some distance on the pitched road when his heels began to hurt. He realized it was his father’s shoes he was wearing and a small nail that was nailed to keep the shoe together had come out. Since he was already late he continued walking towards the bus stop. A few steps more and he felt his socks were wet. He lifted his leg and noticed that the shoe soles had almost peeled off. The water on the road had seeped through the holes to wet his socks. He nonetheless continued to the bus station.

When the bus conductor asked for the ticket price Nirved took out the wallet from his back pocket and realized it was not his but his father’s. He opened it up and instead of finding money saw only a few paper slips. Nirved kept some money in his office bag and paid for the ticket but thought of inspecting his father’s wallet. The first slip was of a Dell laptop reading which Nirved realized that Rs 15,000 was still left to be paid for it. He was the one using the laptop since college. He took out the second slip which was a note from the place where his dad worked. On the top of the note was written “Hobby Day” to which his father had replied, “Collecting and wearing new shoes.” Only today morning when Nirved’s mother told Nirved’s father to buy a new shoe for himself he told her this one (which Nirved was wearing now) would last for at least 6 months more. Nirved’s eyes swelled with tears.

He took out the last slip which was a newspaper cutting of a bike exchange scheme. Nirved’s dad had an old motorcycle which along with Rs 50,000 could be exchanged for a new bike. The day of the exchange was today in the afternoon. Tears kept rolling through Nirved’s eyes all this while. He got down the bus at the next stop, took a taxi back home, reached for his father and hugged him tightly. He kept crying profusely and told his dad that he will not move to the city and he doesn’t need a bike either.

This is a short story – a token of appreciation for my father, inspired by a WhatsApp message i received today.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on 08/04/2015 at 6:22 pm

    inspirational write-up !! liked it 🙂

    Reply

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