I was 12 when I left my hometown and moved to another city. All I had with me that time was 200 bucks(earned working as a servant) in my pocket,few old newspapers and clothes in my bag. Walking alone on the lonely streets with hope in my heart. I was walking. I was moving forward.
I met many people on my way. Some were looking at me as if they would eat me up. Some passed smug smiles and some had lust in their eyes while looking at me. That's weird I know for you people to think that how could a 12 year old kid know all these differences.
Actually I too don't have an answer. People start building experiences when they grow up.
But in my case I was grown up at 12. I had eyes full of experiences. And hand full of failures.
Now you must be wondering why am I calling myself a failure??
Well, I don't have family. I don't have money. I am not powerful. There is nobody to lift me up when I fall. So I am a failure.
Coming back to the journey. Its been 4 days since I have left my home. And I am still all alone. Nobody was standing by this poor lil girl.
I took shelter under few bypasses when I was tired. I stood outside the temple whenever I felt hungry. I stole a pair of chappals from a dargah. Yes these were my experiences!
Walking and walking; was all I did that moment. Finally I reached somewhere, where I knew no one. Every face I saw was unknown. I begged at the roads of the street. Everyday I earned 20 rupees. Enough for one time chawal-daal.
The place was fascinating too because I saw small kids just like me wearing same red color frock. But they were moving in cars, living in apartments. But I was the one who had no house and no family and begging was the source of money and food. I wanted to see the full the city. I wanted to roam everywhere. I wanted to see every street. I wanted to taste those vadapavs and chai. But my mind always said "20 rupaya me ye sab kahan milta hai malik!!" (20bucks is too less to demand all these) With each passing day things were becoming more familiar to me. I was now used to of rejections and I learnt the art of begging.
Then came the turning point of my life. I met a man who was handicapped. He said, "Beta, naam kya hai aapka"( What's your name my dear?")
I hesitated to answer but said "Mai, Meena"
He further asked 'Yaha kya karti ho?' ( What do you do here?)
I replied, I beg (with tears rolling from my eyes)
Then he asked me to come with him. He had something to show.
He took me to a fair. Thousands of people had gathered all around.
Thousands of unknown faces. So many small shops and stalls.
With each little step I was moving, I saw many new things. To me it was like a wonder world.
All of a sudden my mind directed me to step towards a particular spot. I entered that place. It was dark all around. And the whole crowd was cheering up and clapping towards a beam of light. I was amazed and confused as well. Somehow I cleared my way through the crowd and reached nearer the platform. That was the first time throughout my life I was looking at something like that.
Watching it this time taught me a true, simple and beautiful lesson in life. Yes, a very true reality which I was lacking since years.
There was a puppet of the tiger with various invisible strings attached on all parts of its body; having a common control of all threads at another end in the hands of the person operating it. All of the strings were interconnected to each other.
The announcement says that the puppeteer had experience of 15 years. The technique of his operations were definite and accurate. A clear-cut move with every passing second showing mesmirizing scenes and reality of life.
The audience kept on cheering as if they were watching a real tiger. And that's why that performance got standing ovation..
That moment those watching thin strings left me paralysed.
With curiosity filled in my heart I went to the back stage to meet the puppet artists.
And saw a little boy of approx 20 years old tied up with 30 strings of the tiger and that too in a very complex manner.
Those strings you see are very much connected to our life.
We as individuals are also interconnected with numerous deceptive strings that reflects our career, responsibilities, relations and several elements of personal and professional life which are tangled-up in nature, yet interdependent on each other.
And the movement of every moving stage shows our conduction in front of the world. (just like a puppet does on stage)
Moral: Sometimes we might find situations (strings) in life which may hurt us or make us upset or that may be unfavourable.
But, always remember that the other end of the string is in the hands of a divine power who has endless experience and involvement as doer of the performance and the act.
At times that power wants you to hurt because it wants you to perform well and get blossoms of words of appreciation, applauded and standing ovation by people around you. You may call this power whatever you like or feel. This may be Nature, Universe, God or infact anything!
That power may be that handicapped man too or also that 20year old boy or maybe its in me.
PS - In very clear words. I call that the power of believe. Believing in yourself.
Don't worry and keep on performing.