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12th April 2001 - Page 4

A Trip to Heaven

His earliest memory was that of an orphan. He lived in an orphanage along with fifteen hundred of his ilk. He was merely a number - not a name, not a face - but a mindless humiliating numeral. But that all had changed.

He still remembered the morning vividly. It was a beautiful sunny day. A woman had arrived at the orphanage. He had seen her as she entered. She was young and pretty, but had the saddest eyes he had ever seen. Those were the eyes that held him prisoner as she walked past him. Apparently he wasn't the only one who had seen her. All activity came to a halt as she glided smoothly into the Sister's room. Activity resumed as abruptly as it had stopped. He shrugged and went about his daily chores, oblivious of what fate had in store for him. 

It was almost noon when Sister arrived in his dorm, bringing the lady along with her. He watched in disbelief as they walked up to him. Sister spoke first. She said, "Ravi beta, this lady would like to talk to you." He nodded his head dumbly as he could do little else. Sister left and the lady sat next to him. There was a long silence. She smiled sweetly at him. He finally gathered enough courage to speak to her. He asked her who she was. She replied, "Someone who cares about you…" He was dumbstruck; no one had ever said that to him before. Perhaps a tear trickled down his cheek. She asked him if he would like to spend the day with her. He had said yes before he knew it. She smiled again as she took his hand in hers. She led him out as the others watched enviously. He beamed as if to say, "Hey everyone, look at me!"
They first had lunch in a posh café. He was amazed to see the different kinds of food they served there. He had never eaten anything besides the food in the orphanage, or perhaps peanuts on one of the rare occasions when the vendor had come to the orphanage. He gobbled his food down quickly, while the lady sat watching him, quite content to sip her drink. After he finished, they went to the zoo. There he saw animals, he never dreamt existed. They laughed together at the monkey's tricks. They ate popcorn and hot peanuts from the same bag. They watched with bated breath as the snake charmer bent down to kiss his pet cobra. They winced as the crocodiles fought with each other over the pieces of meat that were thrown at them. They left the zoo for the theatre, where they watched a movie. By the end of the day, they were tired, but walking hand-in-hand.

However, it was now time to return to the orphanage. They trudged back, each reluctant to state the obvious. Their walk finally ended in the Sister's room. She bent down and kissed him. He returned the kiss. She looked at him for a long time, but now there was laughter and happiness in her eyes, not sadness. She turned and walked out of his life. He would never see her again. He wasn't sad. Instead, he felt strangely exhilarated. After all it had been his trip - his very own trip to heaven…

By Dhananjay Chak 
Class XI - B
Editorial Board: Aatish Bhatia, Partha S. Mudgil, Ankit Bahri, Shivan Marya, Digvijay Singh, Pallavi Raghavan, Shruti Sharma, Deivyani Dheer, Amaan Raj Khanna
Editor - Priya Malik

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