As she folded the old sheet of paper into a boat, Piya stared dejectedly at the flowing water.She had found it at the bottom of the old steel trunk, among her father’s clothes. How proud she’d been of him as a child.
The man had travelled around the region, toting a bag of books. Piya had understood that he was a bookseller, bringing much-needed resources to village schools and homes. He’d instilled the love of books in his young daughter.
As the researcher had rummaged in the trunk that morning, she’d stumbled upon this record. It told her the business her father had been engaged in all his life. “I earned Rs. 20,000 this last month,” one sentence went. The rich and corrupt landlords of the region, who wanted to destroy the legal records they’d drawn up with bonded labourers they held, had employed him to do the dirty work. Piya imagined what her father would have done after he’d collected the books from the powerful men. The picture of fleets of paper toy boats sailing on the surface of the quiet, deep river, pathetic thumbprints and agreements all consumed by the ravaging waters, rose irresistibly to her mind.
[By Aravinda Bhat ( my son liked this photo so much that he wanted to write a story about it 🙂 ) ]
Photo Credit : Subramanya Bhat