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'Tangggg...' 'Tingggg...' the coins jingled as they were tossed in the huge glass jar. The jar was empty as of now, but by the end of the day, it is sure to be almost full or maybe at least half full.
‘Tangggg…’ ‘Tingggg…’ the coins jingled as they were tossed in the huge glass jar. The jar was empty as of now, but by the end of the day, it is sure to be almost full or maybe at least half full.
Chotu, a short, lanky teenager, goes about washing the dirty and muddy scooters and motorbikes, his vest completely drenched in sweat as the scorching sun shines bright right above his head burning his already tanned skin. It’s 12 in the noon, many passers-by are on their way carrying an umbrella to shield themselves from the heat of the sun.
But Chotu doesn’t even have the luxury of covering his place of work with a tarpaulin, he tried twice earlier but the municipality guys tore it down. Now he prefers the heat and rain, rather than losing his hard-earned money to these officers.
It’s been a couple of months, a motorbike washing service sprung up all of sudden on the street across our building. Initially, the business was slow, but now it has picked up pretty well.
While I’m safe and secure in my cosy house, I watch Chotu every day from my window, working hard relentlessly, without taking a break or a holiday. He is there every single day of the week from 8 in the morning till almost 10 at night, going about his work in the light of the street lamps. Be it pouring rain or scorching sun, he doesn’t stop, goes about his work with complete commitment.
Initially, I thought of lodging a complaint with the local municipality regarding the illegal service that started on the street. Eventually, I realised, after all, Chotu is doing a legitimate job with complete honesty, to earn his livelihood, he isn’t stealing or robbing anyone. He is working hard to make his dreams come true in this ‘City of Dreams’, though I’m sure he has killed his real dreams long back. At an age where he should be studying and playing, he is already working.
The street where he works isn’t for free, a local goon charges his hafta (illegal fee), in turn, he protects Chotu from the municipality and the police officers, who then let him go about his work. But as for tarpaulin, that isn’t allowed yet.
Once he is done washing and cleaning, the customer pays him 30 rupees for the service, sometimes in notes and sometimes in coins, he happily puts this money with his blistered hands, in a glass jar kept on the parapet on the wall nearby. As the coins hit the jar they make a sweet jiggling sound.
The sound of sheer hard work, the sound of sweat, grit and determination of this little boy who never complains and is more than happy to go about his day’s work without bothering about the heat and rain or any other hardships that come his way. It is his ‘Happiness in the Jar.’
When I watch people like Chotu, I consider myself extremely lucky to have a cosy shelter to live in, with all the amenities and appliances to make my life easy.
We generally take too many things for granted, it’s only when we see others suffering, we realise how blessed we are.
If you loved this Jingle in Chotu’s Jar, do leave your valuable comments.
Image source: An image from Pexels
Mother to a bubbly teenager and a student of psychology, Heena is also a travel enthusiast.
She loves to observe the happenings around her and weave them into beautiful stories.
A writer with a passion read more...
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