Zohran and Thaman both are brothers, they are orphans who lost both parents at a very young age, they hardly remember but heard a lot from Raheem chacha that their parents experienced hardship in poverty and had nothing when they died, and all that they left behind was Zohran and Thaman to live in this enormous world. They were too young to understand if giving them life was a gift or living is a punishment. And Raheem chacha is an old man who is a Cycle Rickshaw driver who is all alone and is been like a guardian who has always been there to support and guide these children. All three orphans lived together like a family who are homeless along with other’s. They took shelter under a bridge nearby Velachery Local Railway station in Chennai. Police where like landlords and these people would pay rent for the shelter they take under the government constructed bridge.
Zohran was a 13-year-old and Thaman was 9-year boy, their everyday routine task was to sit on the pedestrians at the side of a road towards the bridge for begging or go begging in the streets of Velachery. Zohran would always make sure he is at the bridge at 8:00 AM sharp as all the David Matriculation School children would walk by the bridge carrying their school bags and few kids getting dropped by their parents to the school. Zohran had great interest in going to school and studying and always had a dream to see his younger brother going to school along with him. And sometimes he would go hide and peep through the window listen to a speech read or delivered by teachers in the classroom.
The other side was Mazhar who is a waste picker who salvages reusable or recyclable materials thrown away by others to sell, Mazhar and his three friends were of the very same age as of Zohran, they were violent young troublemakers who were always a disturbance for their neighbours. Mazhar and his gang involved in burglary and were very ill-mannered they would not sympathies even the elderly. All the neighbours where agitated by their rude behaviour. Everybody was mindful of their behaviour and were attentive. Raheem Chacha who was aware kept Zohran and Thaman away from the trouble and always maintained a distance from this gang.
Every day they would manage their living by collecting money and on unusual day’s people would give food and water instead of money. And most of the times people passing by will donate generously looking at their innocence and helplessness and few don’t donate but have free open-handed advice which is of no help. One day Father Ashley was passing through that way he saw both the kids begging sitting on the footpath went towards them and asked Zohran.
Father Ashley: Why do you beg? You are young and strong you should work hard and earn for your living.
Zohran: Sir I am compelled due to circumstance, And Sir one more thing when I see you I don’t feel like asking you money.
Father Ashley: There is nothing that I can give you other than money or food.
Zohran: I know I’m a beggar but all I beg from you is “I want to go to school” please help me.
Father Ashley: Speechless for a moment and replied “you are making me a beggar now, you give me money and I won’t say ‘May God bless you’ I will get your admission done in my school” grieved and continued walking.
Zohran felt silently gloomy and depressed listening to Father Ashley’s words. Shedding tears and looking at the wide open sky with blurred vision. Started saying without sound “Father are you seeing what is happening with us Please help”. Thaman came and tightly embraced his brother and said don’t worry they are watching us up from the sky and they will help us.
As days went by like a paper in the wind, As usual like any other day Zohran woke up and rushed towards the bridge watching all the children going to school. After all had gone sat sluggishly on the footpath to continue his daily work, people passing by giveaway and few ignore and walk away. Zohran saw a man walking towards him who looked very righteous whose garment was white as snow, shining face and the hair of his head like the pure wool with the bag hanging on his right shoulder came and stood in front of Zohran. And Zohran smiled in return at him guiltless and spread forward with both hands joined together and palms open said “Sir give me more money so that I can go to school along with my brother”
The man looked at him laughed lightly and repeatedly and said I don’t have even a single penny to give you. Looking at his frivolous attitude enraged Zohran asked him to leave immediately from the place. Man started walking forward from there and Zohran discouraged again by the failure of his expectations bent down his head. The stranger came back to him and said I have something else for you and put his hand into his bag and took a notebook out and handed it over to Zohran and said it might be helpful. Zohran took the notebook and was confused looking at it and lift up his face to say ‘Thank you’ but the man is not there he had disappeared by then. It was very strange and flood of questions running in his mind trying to find out where the person disappeared.
The notebook he was holding started to go quickly through the leaves of a book and was delighted to see a 100 rupees note, joyfully picked it up and kept it in his pocket. After a while Thaman came and noticed that Zohran was holding a book in his hand and asked what is it? And Zohran started briefing the incident and turned the pages and found another 100 rupees note and was amazed again, they were overjoyed and spent the day away. And late evening when Raheem Chacha came back to the tent from work late and tired was astonished to see Zohran and Thaman waiting for him with the delish food.
Petrified with fear Raheem Chacha asked from where did you get this food it looks high-priced? Zohran gave him a quick recap of the incident and started turning pages and shockingly found another 100 rupees note, Thaman was thrilled to see that and he snatched the book to see if he could find some more money and was unsuccessful. Returned the book to Zohran, and when Zohran was trying to draw off Thaman’s attention and while doing that he was just playing with the book started moving the pages and could see the sudden puzzled faces shocked with wonder asked both what is wrong? And when they asked him to look down at the book he got a sharp blow looking at another 100 rupees note again. They spent almost the whole night discovering by passing the book person to person and it’s only for Zohran every time he flipped the pages found money. They realised that it’s not an ordinary book and Zohran said the person who gave him the book is not an ordinary man or may be that was my father who came down to help us. All were extremely happy and went to sleep to see a brighter day.
And the next day morning Raheem Chacha was awake and tried to wake up Zohran and Thaman. Zohran got up and in drowsy voice said why do you have to go to work we have enough money now. Raheem Chacha shook up roughly to rouse Zohran from sleep and warned him people will be suspicious If we are trying to be abnormal so let us try being ordinary and find ways to gradually improve in wealth. Zohran was attentive and wise to understand what Raheem Chacha said and was very watchful. In order to keep people trustful, he took Thaman along to the bridge for begging as any other normal day.
Few months passed and lot of things changed in their lives. Their habits, attitudes, tastes started changing which was noticeable and neighbour’s started being conspicuous by their rapid economic growth. One day morning after consulting with Raheem Chacha, Zohran went to meet Father Ashley the principal of David Matriculation School to check if he could enroll Thaman to school. The watchmen at the gate did not permit Zohran inside the school looking at his outlook. Despite of pleading the watchman “please don’t make a scene in a public place”. He was not allowing Zohran inside the school, People stood there watching and from the crowd came Mazhar and the gang looked at him steadily and intently with great curiosity to see what is he doing at the school. And after a while Father Ashley came grabbed Zohran’s hand and took him inside. People started moving from the place, Mazhar and the group stood there wondering why Zohran went along with Father Ashley inside the school.
After a period of time Zohran came out in a happy and optimistic way. Mazhar and the group sceptically followed Zohran to see if they could find out the secret, late in the evening when Raheem Chacha came Zohran briefed that Thaman can join the school after 2 months’ vacation and Father Ashley has asked to pay Rs.16000/- Raheem Chacha acknowledged silently. Mazhar and his friends overheard the conversation but they were unsuccessful to find the hidden secret about their prosperity. They kept close and secret watch on Zohran. And time passes little by little and it’s the time for Thaman to join school, Zohran is more enthusiastic as one of his dream is coming true finally. And in the night they were arranging money for Thaman’s admission in their tent (shelter made of cloth), Zohran with great fear took out the Mystic Notebook and repeatedly started to turn the pages and pick the money from it and keep it aside. While Mazhar and his friends were stunned to discover the secret as they were peeping through a narrow opening.
Next day morning Raheem Chacha, Zohran and Thaman got up went to school neatly dressed in cycle rickshaw for seeking Thaman’s admission in the school. Thaman was delighted to be in the school and at the same time discouraged as Zohran was not there along with him, Zohran cheers his brother reassuring that he will be with him in the school very soon. Raheem Chacha returned back to work and Zohran went back to his old place to the bridge and the day went smoothly. Zohran heard the school bell ringing and saw that Thaman running towards him happily carrying his school bag, when the sun set they go back home buying a some good food to celebrate the day with Raheem Chacha. As soon as they reach they see things scattered and messed up, they started re-arranging and Zohran noticed that the Marvel Notebook is missing.
Zohran and Thaman searched all over the tent and every nook and corner but could not find the book, looking at their confused state one of the neighbours an old man called them and asked is something wrong what are you looking for? Zohran reluctantly replied few things are missing from my tent. Old man informed that he saw Mazhar and his friends coming from your tent and Mazhar was holding a book. As soon as Zohran heard this they rushed abruptly from the place even before the old man could complete his words. They went searching Mazhar and his friends but they could not find them anywhere, after searching all the places they returned back home weak and dull, on the other side Mazhar and his friends went far away towards the railway tracks where nobody can trace them. They were electrified and extremely excited by the fact that they would have lots of money.
Mazhar started to roll over the pages and was puzzled that he could not find anything even after multiple attempts and his friends tried their luck turn by turn but nothing was beneficial. They exerted themselves vigorously all through the night but all their efforts have come to nothing.When the sun rose above the horizon they started walking back home disappointed and Mazhar threw the notebook towards the railway track and continued strolling. Zohran saw them downwards from the bridge and started moving aggressively towards them at a speed faster than a walk, Mazhar and his friends stood there after seeing Zohran walking towards them. Zohran asked Mazhar in annoying tone Where is my book? Mazhar bluffed and responded what book, Zohran aggravated held Mazhar by his shirt collar and repeated the same question. Mazhar furiously pushed him away and went and slapped him on his face and said ‘I don’t know’ in high-pitched sound and moved from the place.
And suddenly the police come to the locale and start chasing Mazhar and his friends in a theft case, Mazhar and his friends scatter and try to flee from danger but everybody is caught and taken to the police station. While Zohran despairingly walked back to the bridge and sat at his regular place thinking what to do next in life. It was hard for him to accept or face the reality, and under the bridge a waste picker with his torn plastic gunny bag was picking things on the railway track who found the notebook and deposited that into his bag and continued to move forward while crossing the bridge his bag tore and things fell on the ground, Zohran was just beside him on the pavement lost in his thoughts. The waste picker called Zohran and asked him to keep an eye out so that he can get another bag, Zohran was attentively looking at the things fallen all over. Waste picker came running with another bag and Zohran lend a helping hand to put his things back into the bag and while doing so he found the lost book. His face was glowing and cheerfully asked the waste picker If I could take the book for himself, waste picker blissfully gave it to him.
Waste picker walked few steps forward and turned back and called Zohran by his name, Zohran looked at him and observed he looked just like the righteous man who had given him the book. And told Zohran this book can bring all the happiness in your life but at the same time it will bring intense dislike, covet, darkness and greed, to earn the true value of a human being help the poor and needy and you will lead a happy life and vanished from sight.
Zohran went back home happily Thaman was waiting at home and Raheem Chacha was yet to come. Zohran took Thaman along with him to police station to check if Mazhar and his friends are there in police station. A police constable informed that they have been taken to the government hospital as they were beaten and wounded, Zohran and Thaman rushed to hospital with fruits and some money. As soon as Mazhar and his friends saw Zohran they were embarrassed and their shameful behaviour could not allow them to lift up there face. Zohran went to Mazhar and handed over the money and asked him to keep it for treatment and gave the fruits.As Zohran started moving from there Mazhar held his hand and said “I am sorry” I was so wrong but still you have come to help us, Zohran smiled and said forget whatever happened and lets be friends and be good to each other and do good to others.
After few months Zohran started going to school and Mazhar and his friends followed him to school as good students. They all lived together happily and helped the needy selflessly to ensure that they are happy. It’s true that money can buy anything but not Love, Dreams, Time, Happiness, and Friends… Who has great values is richer than the one who has money, help others with all that you have and you will be able to get Love, Dreams, Time, Happiness, and Friends.