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Keep walking, you will find your way

Continuing from my last article…

One day I asked my class teacher in primary school, “Where do you live?” She told me she lives in Rohini Sector 6. I asked her, “How do you commute from Rohini Sector 6?” She said she took bus no. 982.

At that time, all I was familiar with was Sultanpuri. It was divided in blocks. Almost everyone knew everyone, there was no need for an address. I thought Sector 6 would be just like a block in Sultanpuri.

A kind woman lived in the neighborhood. She had a govt job. so she was doing okay. I will share more about her role in helping me, in later posts. She could afford to buy shampoos, conditioners, bleach, hair oil and a lot of other things, we could never afford. I used to do shopping for her. I would check at the shop what items had discounts, what was on sale. I used to help her save money on purchase of those items. Every time I shopped for her, she gave me 25 paise or 50 paise and sometimes 1 rupee.  I used to keep that money with her.

On the day of Diwali that year, I got together with 4 other girls from my class and told them that I have saved money to visit our class teacher’s home. I convinced them all to join me in visiting her. 

We all went to the bus station. I had 10 rupees that I had managed to save over a couple of months. I asked the conductor to give 5 tickets for Rohini Sector 6. Each ticket was Rs 3, so a total of Rs 15 – but I only had Rs 10. The conductor was kind enough to let us all ride the bus for Rs 10. We all rode the bus for the first time in our lives. We got down at the stop of Rohini Sector 6. In Sultanpuri, it was easy to find people by name. I thought the same applied to the whole world.

I started asking people if they knew where Mrs Gargee lived. Most people must have definitely thought I was crazy. Rohini looked so clean and beautiful. It was very different from Sultanpuri. We kept looking for Mrs Gargee for hours. It started getting a little dark, and since it was Diwali, people were bursting crackers. All my friends started crying. I was scared too. I had no money to take the bus back to Sultanpuri and I had no idea how to get back home walking.

I took a deep breath, I told my friends to stop crying and not to worry. I told them that I knew how to get back home and they should just follow me. I had compulsive habit of reading all the banners and billboards. I also used to bow down to every temple, mosque, gurudwara and church I saw. I still do that, though I am not a religious person. I felt if I started walking back, I could recognize banners, billboards on the way and could trace my way back home. 

So I started walking in the reverse direction of the bus that got us there. My friends were still crying. I took guesses on turns as we walked. We walked for hours. At some point I saw a familiar area, that area was Mangolpuri Y Block. Now I knew we were not far from Sultanpuri. It took a few more minutes and we reached Sultanpuri. I dropped each of the girls at their house, and then finally went home. 

After Diwali holidays were over and school started, my friend’s parents came to school. They all complained about me taking their daughters all the way to Rohini. The teacher asked me to bring my father to school the next day and asked all other parents to come too. So next day when everyone came to school the teacher complained to my father. My father’s response was, “Why didn’t you give her the complete address? They would have made it to your house!!”

I was happy to hear my father support me and with my first adventure, that day I learnt  – I could make it anywhere all alone and find my way back.

First published here



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  1. to me, the last line sums it all up…!

  2. Thanks Asha!

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