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Monday, March 25, 2013

Moving on!


Moving on!
Vikrant was a new employee of the Central  Public Works Department, which the world knew as the famous CPWD. He had finished his engineering from a prestigious engineering college and his family was quite happy at the fact that he had got a job in CPWD, an organization which was as old and as trustworthy  as ever.
It had been three months and the feeling of this new job had not yet settled in. Vikrant had just moved to Delhi and got a house here.  It was a nice life here in Delhi, compared to his hometown in UP. The best part for him was his family was no where around. Though they would never be after him to come and sleep on time, but it is just this responsibility which Vikrant had towards them. Now, all of a sudden, he did not have any and wasn't he happy about it!
Somewhere in central Delhi, Vikrant's team was doing a field survey of the number of slums in the area. They were going from one slum to another and checking and collecting documents from the slum owners. This was the first field operation which Vikrant was a part of.
Vikrant was the youngest member of his team and Sharma ji was the oldest. He was retiring the very next week. He had served in the organization for a period which was as much as Vikrant's age. Sharma ji had this hilarious habit of commanding his team with the words "Chalo, Moving on". So the team would check for the documents which included the ration card and the UID card and Sharma ji would shout with pride,"Chalo, moving on!"
Vikrant was enjoying the whole process of collecting the documents from people living there. He had never done this and was enjoying the respect he was getting from the people.
So they entered this slum which had an old woman standing at the door. "Shanti amma" she was called.  She smiled and called these men inside to sit. They came, they sat and waited for her documents. There was this woman who was randomly walking with the officers, telling them everything she knew about the houses. She was old too but was younger than shanti amma.
So as Vikrant was looking around the small house, Shanti amma came in abruptly and put a bag of documents on the floor and sat down looking for them. This was slightly shocking for Vikrant. Shanti amma started going through the documents in a haste. Vikrant could see the tension coming over her each and every moment. Sharma ji said in his deep voice to Shanti amma to chill and look for documents. He said that they are in no hurry. Vikrant liked this attitude of their team.
Shanti amma said that she is looking for her ration card which she can't find. Sharma ji asked her where did she see it last. She said that her son had seen it last. everyone was silently waiting for her to find the ration card. But all of a sudden, Shanit amma got up crying and left the room. This was weird for Vikrant. He thought that it was kind of funny too that a woman is crying for something which is as trivial as some document. Some Ration card!
The woman who was walking with these men spoke, "Sahab, she is a widow. She had a hard working son till last week."  Vikrant was confused when he heard this. What did the woman mean when she said "till last week"?
"He passed away last week in a truck accident. Shanti amma is alone after that. She keeps crying", said the woman.
Sharma ji got up and before anyone could say anything. he said that we can come back to Shanti Amma after sometime. Vikrant wanted to stay for some time, and talk to Shanti amma and comfort her. He felt very sad for this old woman who had recently lost his young son. But before he could do anything, his senior had asked him to move. He looked inside to get a glimpse of shanti amma, but he did not see her. They moved out of the slum.
Sharma ji summed up the whole experience in his trademark dialogue...
"Chalo, moving on!"
And they moved on.



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