Tara lived in a big city with her parents. She and her best friend Lata loved to read books. They were neighbours. At the moment fairy tales were taking them to strange and beautiful lands where anything was possible.
In fact, their dearest dream had come true. They did not know how. One evening they had been reading about the magic carpet and the children who had wonderful adventures. The two girls wished fervently that it would come into their world. Instead of a carpet a wondrous red chair appeared in their room. They looked at it with apprehension. How had it appeared?
They walked towards it and touched it hesitantly. It was soft and firm. They sat in it. They felt instinctively that it did not belong to their world. Without realising what they were doing both wished that they could see their favourite place in the story they loved. The next moment they were in the middle of a beautiful, old path. They got down slowly and walked away from the chair. When they looked back, it was still there. They ran back to it because they did not want to remain in that world.
Photo credit: Pexels by Pixabay
Asha looked at the school building with a feeling of satisfaction. It had been their home for more than twenty years. Her husband, Ajith, had retired fifteen years earlier. Years before his retirement both had decided that they would teach children of immigrant labourers who lived not far from their home. Those children had to look after themselves when their parents were at work. The couple started with five children. Over the years the number had grown to more than two hundred. Volunteers and retired teachers joined them. The children were doing well. Many completed their studies and had good jobs. They returned often to express their love and gratitude to their teachers.
Ajith passed away a few months ago due to a heart attack. Some relatives had an eye on this building as it was in a prime locality. They wanted Asha to sell them the property but she resisted. They called her a thorn in their flesh and vowed to remove her forever. With the help of friends Asha turned their unofficial school into a legal institution of learning. The school and the building were safe from greedy hands. The thorn would never be removed.
(Photo credit : Lakshmi Bhat )
Advaith was almost six. He loved to ask questions. And he wanted his parents to answer them. He was fascinated with space, galaxies and black holes. At the same time something earthly interested him. He loved to collect stones. His collection was quite big.
One day he saw a picture of a pyramid. His mother told him such structures were called pyramids. They were made thousands of years ago. All sorts of questions came to his mind. How were those huge stones shaped? How were they placed on top of one another when there were no machines back then? It looked as if there was nothing to hold them together. Why did they not fall down? He wanted the answers immediately.
He and his father went to the local library and borrowed a book about pyramids. Every evening his father read out to him. Advaith was excited and decided to build a small pyramid. He did not know from where he would get the stones or how he would give them the rectangular shape. It was his dream.
(Photo credit : Susan Spaulding)
Ramesh looked at the dark clouds. Once there had been hope but now he was afraid to hope. For two years there had been only dark clouds but no rain. The ground looked parched and the water sources had dried up. Life had become miserable and a bitter struggle for survival. One by one people in that area started migrating to the towns hoping for a better life. The very thought of leaving the open spaces of his village and living in slums in the towns filled Ramesh with great despair. Here they had land. There they would be treated as beggars. Everyday would be a struggle of a different kind.
He and his friends did not want to leave. They decided to do something about the water resources, they had nothing to lose. They got together and started desilting the small lakes. They got help from like minded people in the capital of their state who were clearing the lakes there. They had worked hard for a year and now it seemed as if the Gods were answering their prayers and selfless work. By then most of the villagers gathered near the dry lakes to welcome the rains.
( Photo credit : Terrie Smeigh)
A New Life (Sunday Photo Fiction)
Bengaluru Techie Single-handedly Revives Lake in 45 Days, Plans to Save 45 More by 2025!
Kavya was born when the days were short and cold. That did not make any difference to her. Her world was her home, safe and secure in her mother’s arms. Months passed. With the coming of spring the world become bright and colourful. The outside world was now becoming part of hers. It was an exciting world. The tree with fluttering leaves fascinated her. So did the grass under her feet. She wanted to touch everything. She and her brother loved to play in the park. The beautiful wild flowers were waiting to be plucked. She got angry when her brother stopped her from plucking tulips. Every small thing filled her with joy. She loved to run after butterflies. Once the family went to a farm near the hills for a vacation. Kavya and her brother loved to watch the animals, the rooster fascinated them. One day they were exploring and saw a beautiful red carpet under a cherry tree. They were delighted and ran forward to find that it was a carpet of petals. Surely there could be nothing more beautiful than it!
Childhood is filled with such simple joys. Children teach adults to appreciate them once more.
(Photo Credit : Fandango)
Naveen was a toy maker. His town was famous all over the country for the distinct type of wooden toys they made. The world was changing with the internet taking over everyday life. Children were engrossed in video games. He and other toymakers were worried. Toymaking had been the main source of their income for generations. They were not qualified for any other occupation.
One day representatives of a large handicraft company came to talk with the toymakers. That company was known all over the world for its fine wood craft. They had manufacturing units in different part of the country. They asked the toymakers whether they would produce wood work of a different type for them. At first the townspeople were hesitant about making something other than traditional toys. But the youngsters knew that they had to change or their profession would die a slow death. They attended workshops organized by the company in their town and learnt to make wooden products of a different type. The company was happy with their work and promised to create a market for their toys. The toymakers had changed with the times and now they had the best of both worlds.
( Photo credit : A Mixed Bag)
The Toy makers
One evening Advaith and his grandfather were returning home after a walk. They were passing a tree when he saw many insects huddled together on a branch. He watched with curiosity. His grandfather told him they were wild honeybees which made their hives in the branches of trees. While this was a small hive, others were big. His grandfather told him about bee keepers who make boxes to house bee hives. The bees settle there with their queen and make honey. The beekeepers collect this honey and sell it.
Advaith was fascinated to hear all that his grandfather told him but he was troubled too. He liked the taste of honey very much. He loved it with curds, dosa, idli and cold water. He and his father went cycling some evenings. His mother prepared cold honey juice for him. He loved it. His sister liked it too. She called it juice.
But after seeing the small bee hive he wondered whether they were not stealing from the bees who worked so hard to prepare honey for themselves. His grandfather told him all the honey was not taken. There was enough for the bees too. But, Advaith was not so convinced.
( Photo credit : Reena Saxena)
( Photo from my collection 🙂 )