Crude Part II – Village Years of Gratitude


The wind blew in the eastern direction, lightly tousling Karan’s hair. The day was just building up its buzz. But for Karan, his days started with the first ray of the sun. Even before people rushed to get anything else, they rushed to get fruit. After all, Karan’s little stall had the freshest fruit that the village could get. He called it a pure stroke of luck.

Probably destiny favored him for his determination to do something. Even if it meant starting with a hawker that delivered fruit from door to door in his village and the neighboring ones. Days were tainted with hard work that almost broke Karan’s back every day. But the boy moved on. He stopped going to school. He kept his episodes of getting bullied a secret locked deep within the bottom of his heart.

His parents were temporarily diverted with Karan’s success at money making at a young age. And Karan couldn’t stall going to college anymore. Yet, he tried to beat about the bush whenever the topic came. So far, he was doing just fine.

Even as Karan had grown enough to open up a stationary food stall where people from all areas flocked too, the wheels in his brain still turned. He wasn’t just going to stop there. As days passed, he expanded his stall to a small market that had a separate corner dedicated to each fruit.

But that was not all. He kept pushing the borders, poking at them to check if they could support a heavier foundation. Until, one day he stopped testing the borders. That was the day when the bullies stepped in his village and headed straight to his market. People came from the city to his fruit bazaar but they were mostly known customers or small scale businesses that came to strike a deal and send their trucks to be loaded with fruit.

But these boys in their torn jeans, which they considered trendy and gel in their hair looked out of place. So the entire village buzzed with their excitement. And any news that hung on the village streets zipped across the town like a wildfire. Naturally, news reached Karan’s ears that immediately recognized the possibility that the boys could be the same ones as the those in his school.

For some time, Karan held his place. He didn’t flinch or flee from his spot. After all, he was the owner of the fruit market. But just when the voices entered the vicinity and rung familiar bells in Karan’s mind, he lost his nerves. Fear burned in his veins like a powerful poison quickly spreading in his body. His knees buckled and sweat prickled his face. He knew he was doomed.

Exactly, as the boys turned to the entrance of the bazaar, fear consumed Karan. He left the spot and hid, just as he did at school. More than half of his body rebelled despite suffering the consequences of fear. Despite raising his own business, he lacked any confidence and that was not how he could possibly ever bloom in his career. The boys came, got their fruit, and left. But Karan stood at his hiding spot at the back of the market’s tent and felt ashamed of himself.