When Basant was nine years old, Vaibhav sent him to SPHS School, in Wadala giving him daily ten rupees as a pocket money. He never wants his son to be a taxi driver like him and did what he was capable of for his son’s betterment.
“I am ready papa”
He is ready too, with a khaki green color shirt on him and looks as usual, same. He waved his hand sharply to his son.
“Come here, beta”
He goes. Vaibhav puts his hand in his pocket and very lightly removes a ten rupee note and lays on his son’s palm. He takes it and goes swiftly across the door. While Vaibhav watched his son so profoundly in his school uniform walking towards the lane where his future was. He was determined to do anything for his child no matter how less he earned, his son will never wear a khaki green shirt like him. His heart was hard with tenderness seeing his son in the good state. Basant was shy and very introvert to talk to anybody and boys often thought he was very arrogant and selfish type of a person, but he didn’t care. He had some beliefs somewhere in his mind, never defined. He cared very little for anybody except his father and mother, whom he loved beyond limits.
Every day after the school leave, he stood outside one prominent shop with a schoolbag on his back; his eyes were glistening with passionate desire, penetrating through the window of the shop. He badly was looking for one thing which made his days restless. He wanted to go inside right away and take away what he eyed on but couldn’t. The Shop owner often shouted, abused and thrown him away, for standing there without any purpose. But he didn’t know that this boy has a great purpose in his mind to fulfill. It was like a beggar admiring the displays through the shop window of toys. Sometimes his mother turned on him with a fierce, destructive anger, asking him the reason of his lateness and he was always already with a lie.
“So what you ate today in the recess”, his mother daily inquired.
“Daily you eat Ice cream, don’t you get other things to eat. You will get cavities.”
The glimpse of Ice cream always watered his mouth, but he hardly had one in the last couples of months. He lied to his mother so that he could save his pocket money to fulfill his passionate desire. Only God knows what he really had in his mind, which was so queer to understand.
Days went by; he stood before the shop, staring at the window that glowed intensely like his desire. He was hypnotized by it and his eyelids hardly moved. He could not bear to think of anything else. He had set his heart on it. He was shrunk by the pressure of the pedestrians, but remained transfixed, in a trance. One day he will walk inside and see it very closely, will touch it and buy it. One day shall come soon. He sacrificed his ice cream daily, he fabricated lie daily, he put his pocket money in his piggy bank daily and his parents were not cognizant of it.
One day while having dinner Basant thought he would have collected enough money to get what he desired and thought to break the piggy bank. He went to a drawer, picked the piggy bank and went to bed. Today he was going to break and see how much his daily contribution made up to. So it was broken, it was beyond conceiving good, it was so good, that he drew all the notes closer to himself and started counting. His young eyes were blazing with lights. It was a great confirmation for him to feel those notes, which took off all his delight of ice cream. He bundled the notes and kept it under his pillow. And thought tomorrow will be the day when he shall finally have what he desired for so long and went to sleep.
The Next day after the school leave, every step he was talking towards the door of the shop felt as if he was taking a step on the moon, like an adventurer on an undiscovered island. When he unbolted the door, he exulted in himself and all the heaviness of his heart transmuted into a thin filament of calmness. How good he felt inside the shop, the cool air, tantalizing aroma of it, moved him so mystically and he sank into it completely. And when he gained his consciousness, he pointed the shop owner at the corner of the shelf. He didn’t believe he was so close to it and as it was given to him, he was transfixed. For so long he stood outside the shop staring at it, admiring it and finally it was in his hands. He was hardly able to bear the touch of it and lost himself completely.
“Five hundred rupees” came the voice and he was back into reality.
He fished the bundle out of his pocket and handed it. For a while even owner felt guilty of being so abusive and rude to him, but today he got to know what he was really looking for. He embedded the box into the plastic bag and gave it to basant. On his way clustering this very plastic bag on his chest, Basant thought no more he has to stand outside the shop and finally he fulfilled his desire. And while returning back to home, he also saw Ice cream cart and couldn’t resist it. It watered his mouth and he straightway went to it and ordered one for him. No more he has to save his pocket money and he was delighted by the taste of ice cream.
The morning crept in, Basant was ready for the school, but the tea was not yet ready. His father called him as usual; he fished a ten-rupee note and gave into his hand. Basant was delighted and pocketed it.
“Papa today I have something to give you”
Basant takes his school bag, opens it and removes a thin cardboard box and proffers to him. Vaibhav opened it and saw a lovely colourful shirt. He took the shirt and opened it.
“Isn’t it nice than the Khaki green shirt?” Basant asked.
The Shirt was beautiful like a newly opened flower. His eyes were blurred with dews. He was thinking of words to appreciate such a greatness of his son. But couldn’t find one. Basant went and comforted him.
“Papa now you don’t have to wear that shirt again and again. You don’t look good in it. See now I bought you a new one full of colours, it will suit you.”
The tears came at the touch of his careful voice. He puts arms round his son and held him in a close embrace under the showers of sunshine. While his wife stood by the window with a tray of cups and watched their love profoundly. When the emotions were sobbed out, she came and they all sat down to tea, talking casually. On one hand, he dreamt to see his son in School uniform so that he wouldn’t have to wear the filthy Khaki green uniform and be a taxi driver like him, while on the other hand his son dreamt the same, not to see his father in that ugly shirt.