Raman was an employee in a small shop that handles old newspapers, magazines, books, plastics and glasses. His daily job was to categorically segregate the bundles of wastes, pack it and transport it to a dealer in city nearby. He lived in a very small town where everyone knew each other by name and farming was the major source of livelihood. Raman’s employer was also the landlord and he worked there part time. In his free time, he would go through the old magazines, books and newspapers. Most of the times, buildings and landscapes used to awe him. Sometimes, he would cut a picture and take it back home to his 6 years old son, Gokul. Gokul would look at the picture too and sketch it in his notebook.
“Appa, this one is for you”, he would say and gift it to his father. Raman would swell with pride looking at the perfect sketch made by his son.
Years pass by. Raman’s biggest treasure is the pencil sketches of his son, safely secured in an old iron trunk. Gokul secures a distinction in his tenth standard and gets a scholarship to study Science in a renowned Government school in the city nearby. He becomes hero among his classmates due to ability to draw beautifully. He gets valuable gifts for helping them in updating their practical books. One day, he gets a pack of watercolors. Gokul tries to color his sketch, but fails. He feels bad. But, with the help of some friends who let him explore internet, Gokul learns how to play with colors. Soon, his friends start gifting him paints and canvas in return to drawing pictures in their practical books.
One day, his teacher stumbles upon one of his painting books and gets awestruck by its sheer brilliance shining with perfection. As she turned the pages she saw the serenity of Taj Mahal, colorful lanes of Venice, bustling roads of London with the Big Ben in the background, the majestic Tanjavur Brihadeeswhwarar Temple and many more. There were vivid landscapes too which were nothing less than a photograph. And the mighty looking Indian Gods and Goddesses. She calls Gokul and asks where he learnt them. He says he learnt it from his father. An astounded teacher meets the father. Soon she understands that he had only shared the photographs to his son. But, the son recreated them with pencils and colors. She realizes that the father taught his son to dream, beyond the limitations of the border and economic constraints. She organizes an exhibition in the school and invites media attention. His paintings and fame go viral due to the social media. People across the world start appreciating his painting. He starts making a lot of money. He feels at the top of the world because his passion was bringing fortune to him.
“Appa, this one is for you”, he walks to his father with an envelope in his hand. His father opens it and doesn’t really understand what it is. He looks perplexed and confused at the same time because he had thought it would be another painting which he could cherish in his old iron trunk. Gokul smiles and says, “appa this the flight tickets to the world tour. We are going to see all those places whose pictures you have been bringing to me”. Raman’s eyes well up. He hugs the boy and thanks the almighty as his eyes wander across the home until it rests on the photograph of his wife.