From the pen-APN
Every Sunday I travel a distance of 50 kilometres to a private institution where I teach a few students. Those students prepare themselves for various competitive exams. On the weekends, I go and say a few inspiring words to them. I love their company because I treat them as my friends and I never wear the mask of ego before them. So I feel very unassuming and free there.
Very often, my wife expresses her dissent as I leave my family on Sundays and go to that institution. However, I love to go to that institution because it gives me an opportunity to take a long bike ride on the roads of Malkangiri to Jeypore. And while riding my bike I think like a poet and enjoy nature’s beauty to my heart’s content.
Life is very free in Malkangiri. You get the refreshing air everywhere. Tall and big trees stand by the side of the road. And moving through them connects you with Mother Nature deeply. The lush green landscape recharges your heart with purity of life. The innocent smiles of the tribal people and their unconditional joys are worth experiencing. They bring closer to your real self.
That day it was raining sporadically and the road was too muddy. Moreover, the road work was going on. So at many places, the road was dug and the thick mud was making the road very slippery. That day I missed my nature-journey as I had to grip the bike’s handle tightly lest I skidded off the road. After I passed the bad part of the road I discovered that my favourite and expensive pair of shoes had been thickly painted in mud. My black coloured trousers were also badly sprinkled with mud and looked weird.
I did not pay any attention to the stains or to my muddy shoes. I managed my work as usual and returned home after the class. At home, I removed my shoes and found that the mud had completely dried up and looked like a thick paste of sandal.
At this time my wife came smiling and hugged me. I could not apprehend the reason. I was surprised because she had not cared my muddy attire. With a mystery-laden smile, she drew an envelope and handed it to me. I found a Government order in it which told that I had been transferred to a new coastal district and I had to leave my present station in 10 days. My wife was happy but I was most unhappy. I wanted to sit silently for a while. My wife left the place and went to do her household work. But I was crestfallen.
I looked at my muddy shoes. Now the mud that had covered my shoes appeared very precious. In a moment I could realise the worth of the soil. For a moment I felt to hold those muddy shoes close to my breast and cry for a while. Tears rolled from my eyes because for ten years I had established a strong bond with this district. And now I will miss every dust particle of this land…………..