Just another day
Being a quiet person and an introvert sure has its own advantage- nobody pays heed to what you are upto and hence, there is no question of being bothered by their questions and hassles. Yes, some might mistake you to be rude and arrogant, but that never bothered Avani. She would always be in her own la-la land; probably to escape the reality that was her life. Born to parents that wanted nothing to do with a girl child, Avani, who was merely two-months-old, was dropped off at Angel’s Orphanage. She was never good at socialising and the only ever friend she had was Bruni, a dog that had taken shelter in the orphanage’s abandoned storehouse. Avani was the one who named her. When the whole of the kids in the orphanage would be enjoying their recess on the playground, Avani would be the one who sneaked a couple of biscuits from the pantry, to give them to her friend. She would often read to him lines from her story books too, before Bruni would fall asleep on her lap. At just eight-years-old Avani had a huge knack for stories and the only thing she would want is to spend hours sitting in the garage, reading. The other kids just desired one thing- as most children that are being brought up in orphanages do- which was to be adopted, but not Avani. She did not prefer change and she was scared to leave the orphanage, especially Bruni, to go and live with complete strangers. Perhaps, she already considered the orphanage to be her family. It was the last week of February- a bit chilly during the nights but overall, the days had a calm and soothing vibe. Avani loved February especially because it was her birthday month. By now, she had comprehended the reason behind her abandonment by her parents, but she was clever enough to know that she might have had a more miserable life, if she had been brought up in that household. However, this time she was excited about February for some other reason. On the twenty-sixth of February, around six o’clock in the morning, Avani went to the garage and woke Bruni up from his nap and stealthily left the premises of the orphanage and set off towards her destination. Avani was too enthusiastic to walk and had resorted to skipping, with Bruni carefully running close to her feet. But soon enough, she was exhausted and decided it was best to tread at a medium pace as she had to preserve her energy. She had been waiting for this since last year and could not imagine it coming true at last. Always scared of how it would be outside the orphanage, she had never even gone out for any of the field trips, however, today was an exception. She caught sight of many people along the way- early morning risers, shopkeepers, school kids at the bus stop but mostly homeless people- and wondered if she would be one of them had she not been in the orphanage. Avani also knew that if she does not get adopted soon then she might end up living on the streets, as one cannot stay in the orphanage forever. Every time she was fatigued, she glanced at the crumpled paper in her hands which acted as her fuel. She brought Bruni along with her as she was concerned that he would be maltreated if someone found him alone in the garage. Minutes turned into an hour and there she was- the paper in her hand was an advertisement for a book fair happening a small distance from the orphanage and it was all that she could think about since the time she had found that paper lying on the road, near the orphanage’s gate. Over the course of one year, she had saved up enough money to buy a story book for herself and was eager to enter the book fair. She had tied Bruni near the gate as it would be safer for him to wait for her there, and she somehow managed to join the queue among all the crowd. It was her chance to go in but as she was about to enter, she was stopped by a guard who asked her for a ticket. “A ticket?” she asked and he pointed her towards the ticket counter. She was really heartbroken when she realised that she would not be allowed to enter without a ticket so she went to buy one but was horrified to discover that whatever money she had would all go in buying the ticket and she would be left empty handed. However, after spending a minute inside, Avani knew she had made a good call by sticking to her commitment to go in. The book fair was a paradise for her and everywhere she looked there was a plethora of books. She had never been so content. The books were more than just papers with sentences on them, they were means for Avani to travel the world, to do things she cannot or even dream of, to let her be her true self, to gain knowledge and find her true feelings about the world. She did not long for a family, she already had one in the orphanage but she did long for her dream to come true. Every time she felt dejected, she would dive into her stories and all her problems would vanish. It was as if the books contained magic and she was glad to be a witness to it. Avani went to each stall and looked at as many books as she could, trying to memorise their names so that she could read them all in her life. She left feeling happier than she had ever been in her life and realised that it was just another day for everyone in the orphanage, but not for her- for her, it was the onset of something new as she decided to write a story of her own.
Soni Bhattarai is a first-year BA, LLB (Hons.) student of National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam. She is also a member of the National Service Scheme’s Intellectual Cell of her college which aims in providing service to the community. Apart from writing poems and articles, she also has a passion for dance- of all forms- but especially Bharat Natyam and she also holds a diploma in it.