Raju…

April 24, 2006 at 11:35 am 2 comments

For a creative writing class, we had to write about someone on the periphery of our lives – then we were told to alter it based on the feedback we got from the teacher/TA/class.

Original:
His day probably starts close to dawn, a trip to the market, a bike ride to LUMS. By the time the rest of us wake up and get to the store – for breakfast, or an early lunch – he’s midway through his day, though you couldn’t tell that from the way he reacts on seeing each and everyone of his customers. Always a smile, a reference to the previous week or the latest serial on TV. In the five minutes that you are in front of him, you have his attention, even if he has a backlog of orders he has to get to.

You would think, in all this talking, that he would mention his life, but he doesn’t. That’s because during the day, he’s one of the students, not a worker in LUMS who has to go back to a life where he can barely support his family, but someone who relates to the average person in front of him. And for the students, thats who he is, he’s the happy guy at the counter and if that’s what he has to limit himself to, he will.

But if you sit in the store and try and look deeper, you’ll see the stubborn spirit in him, the one that tells him to not care about authority and do things his way, you’ll see the wistful looks at the new watches and mobiles everyone’s sporting nowadays, the side glance at that hot girl who just ordered a juice, the stolen berries he just popped into his mouth and thinks no one noticed.

If you dig deeper, you can see who he is, and forget his circumstances, and that he’s behind the counter and not in front of it. He really is no different than everyone else in this place, he doesn’t have to try.

Altered:
The day starts close to dawn, a trip to the market, a bike ride to LUMS. By the time the customers start walking into the store – for breakfast, or an early lunch – it’s midway through the day, but the smile doesn’t reflect that. “Every customer is special, everyone must be talked to”, the mantra goes through his head, “Orders can be caught up with later. Who’s that new kid walking in the door? Never seen him before! Salam boss, freshie ho?”

You would think, in all this talking, that he would mention his life, but he doesn’t. That’s because during the day, he’s one of the students, not a worker in LUMS who has to go back to a life where he can barely support his family, but someone who relates to the average person in front of him. And for these students, that’s who he is. The happy guy at the counter…

“Raju this, Raju that”…the litany never stops. But somethings make it worth the while. The students treating him like he’s part of the gang. Being at the front line, watching it all happen. Joining in the revelry as the LUMS teams beat GIKI again. All this makes it worth it.

It’s hard sometimes. Watching all the kids go about their life without a care. A four year education gauranteed by their parent’s bank accounts. But if he tries hard enough, he can be just like them, share a few laughs with the popular kids, eat the same food they eat, feel like he belongs.

But there’s stubborn spirit in him, the one that tells him to not care about authority and do things his way, there are wistful looks at the new watches and mobiles everyone’s sporting nowadays, the side glance at that hot girl who just ordered a juice, the stolen berries no one notices.

Dig deeper, and the real him is right there. Forget that he’s behind the counter and not in front of it. He really is no different than everyone else in this place, he doesn’t have to try.

I liked the original better – anyway – we don’t get graded on assignments during the course, so have no idea how I did…but me is liking this class 🙂

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Overload…

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Yasir Ali  |  April 26, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    I liked the second one better… phrases like “stolen berries no one notices” make it more subtle than what was originally written.

    It gives a better context as well and has a flow to it.

    The first one was more extempore in nature.Nevertheless both of them were nicely written and enjoyable to read.

    Reply
  • 2. Nida Rasheed  |  April 26, 2006 at 6:43 pm

    yeah – that’s the point of the second piece. also, the first is extempore…in class submission.

    Reply

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