I saw that family on a road divider close to where I live. The children wore tattered clothes and looked hungry. There was a makeshift tent erected on the road divider itself and that apparently was their home. But the children, like all other children, were oblivious to their surroundings and were innocently playing on the road.
Their games, of course, were nothing like the games that children from relatively well-off families played. One child was doing cartwheels across the road during stoppages in traffic at a red signal. One child was playing a homemade musical instrument. Yet another child was singing and dancing. They were doing that to earn little money, which some good Samaritan might throw their way.
It was a scene that I was used to on roads across all cities not only in our country but also in developed countries of Europe and England as well as many other nations. I realised that I had become immune to their presence around me. Earlier, I saw them but did not notice them.
This started me on a long journey – a journey of almost 75 years starting from sometime in 1955, and ending in 2029. The beginning of the journey was modest… No, modest is an overstatement. The beginning was even less than humble. But there was a burning desire to be better than what they had been. This passionate fire continued, till Roshni, a girl born in this family started her journey in 2011.
The Gymnast is the journey of Roshni, foundations of which were laid 75 years back. I count my blessings that this family chose to include me in their travels across decades and across two centuries.
I also feel blessed that I am able to bring their story to my readers through The Gymnast, Book 1 of Street Performers Series.
I am also giving away signed copies of the book on the occasion of 75 years of Indian independence. Participate in the Independence Day Quiz and win signed copies.
Please also share your reviews about the book.