Friday, November 02, 2007

Vanka and Gupta

Ever so often you come across a sad story, something that totally depresses you.
I ws searching for a singer's name which I did not remember and stumbled across Vanka. I had read this story by Checkov a long time back, but then never expected to come across it in this manner. When I did see the title, I really could not resist a re-read, though I was pretty sure that it'd depress me.
I guess I had read it when I was ten or twelve, and I remember having read it in candle light, in the one of those roaring monsoon seasons in Kerala. And somehow, it felt as if poor little Vanka was rushing to the postbox right then. Probably written in a language a nine year old boy would not write (though I suspect that the translations I read might have exaggerated it from simple Russian), this story is about Vanka, an orphan who's been taken as an apprentice by a shoemaker and has been abused and beaten up. He begs his grandfather to come and take him in his letter. And addressed just to a name, we know that the letter would never reach the destination... But ten, Vanka sleeps well that Christmas night, dreaming of his grandpa and the family dog.

the story is here.

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here is an article from Times Online

It talks about how for about Rs.150, you get a "fligh-like-experience".
I know that this guy is probably fulfilling the dreams of many who wouldn't ever be able to get into an airplane, and that he has formed a pretty decent business opportunity for himself, but reading the comments from the people who did get on for "the ride", somehow pulled a string somewhere. And the site calls him an "entrepreneur". My foot.
It might just have been an emotional mood, but the depression is pretty much real.

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