“At the first day of my work I cried by sitting near the bridge where once my father used to work. I had no idea how to work without some memories of my father polishing shoes. In monsoon my father carried me on his shoulder to take me to school. In my school during rainy season we have to keep our books inside the plastic, drops of rain continued to enter through the hole of the tin shade of the school. But we never stopped to read poetry.
My father always said I have to become big. After seven days of his death I become very big. We had nothing to eat in our home, my youngest brother was suffering from fever and my mother had no sense to do anything. The box was heavier than me. My classmates were pointing at me while they were going to school. I suppose to go to my class and learn rest of the poetry. I become big but I cried like a child. When the first customer gave me to polish his shoes, my hands were trembling and when he shouted by calling me ‘Bloody cobbler’, I could not control my tears. He took away his shoes without paying me anything.
Other hawkers were looking at me with sympathy. And I felt to run to my school, get wet by the rain and memorize rest of the poetry. And then a man came to me. His appearance was dangerous, his voice was very harsh. He ordered me to polish his shoes like a mirror. I bite my lips to hold my tears and tried to do my best and then he asked me to do that again. I did again and he asked me to do again. Then he showed me a line and asked me to do again. I stopped crying and at the end the shoe was shining like a glass. He put a 100 taka note in my packet and said, ‘Use your time and energy to work, not to cry, tears will never bring anything.’ He left to the ferry.
That day I earned 300 taka. It’s been three years I am working and never waste my time for crying. I am sending my two younger brothers to school. Last year I married off my elder sister. And I have learned the poetry that I could not finish three years ago. I drank all my tears and only living for my dreams. Now when people call me cobbler I do not cry anymore, I look at them and smile.”
– Uttam Chandra Das (15)
At the first day of my work I cried by sitting near the bridge where once my father used to work. I had no idea how to…
Story By – GMB Akash
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