The needless walk

  • Their stomach is rumbling with hunger and both of them are tired by the extreme mass of their school bags. The air today is stinky too—it smells of burnt tyres

Jan 20, 2017-

Neesha falls on the ground. She is exhausted. Panting, Sahara helps her stand once again upon her feet. They have been walking for an hour and a half from their school. This is unusual for them. “What’s happening?” asks Neesha. Sahara, herself confused, leaves Neesha’s question unanswered.

Everything was fine in the morning, they had gone to school, nothing unusual was happening in front of the BICC, however, on their way home, the Madhyapur Yatayat they had boarded was blocked by a group of demonstrators of a political party. So, they had decided to walk rather than lifelessly stand in the bus full of smelly, sweaty and impatient people complaining about their lives as they pushed and pulled. And to their utmost despair, Neesha’s seat was literally hijacked by a woman. She had risen from her seat to have a look at the melodrama outside when the woman suddenly mocked, “I just sat down, sorry.”

Sahara and Neesha have been walking from Dillibazar to Bagbazaar and Singhadurbar to Koteshwor. Their stomach is rumbling with hunger and both of them are tired by the extreme mass of their school bags. The air today is stinky too—it smells of burnt tyres. Their shoulder pain is unbearable. Their legs can no longer hold their heavy and tired bodies. Sahara gives up. However, Neesha motivates Sahara by convincing her that they could conquer this adversity.  

Cursing the politicians they reach Baneshwor. There they see the black stains from tyres, shattered glasses and stones. The road is blocked. Hundreds of school children are stranded in the middle of the road with parched throats and empty bellies. The street full of honking vehicle in the morning is now full of an eerie silence that these two girls couldn’t comprehend.

They finally reach their home in Koteshwor only at 6:30pm—three hours later than usual—even when they took the shorter route. 

Their mother is lying on the bed with her face pale and sickly looking. Her blood pressure has fallen down immensely. Dada and Daddy who had walked home from their workplace look exhausted too. Kaki, their maid cooks them dinner and Neesha and Sahara eat like a couple of hungry wolves. Soon after dinner, they fall on their bed and start snoring.

lll

The next morning, they wake up with their aching bodies and dizzy heads. They skip school. Sahara; the debate champion misses her final debate competition and Neesha fails her 60 mark exam. Both of them miss the prizes they were going to receive from the principal. They didn’t just miss their class, they lost all the honours just because of a silly unknown strike that they were completely unaware of. 

 

Bibhuti Shah

Grade 9

Shree Padma Kanya Vidyashram Higher Secondary School

Published: 20-01-2017 08:51

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