Lost Spring Summary In English
“Sometimes I find a rupee in the garbage’ The author comes across Saheb every morning. Saheb left his home in Dhaka long time ago. He is trying to sponge gold in the heaps of garbage in the neighbourhood. The author asks Saheb why he does that. Saheb mutters that he has nothing else to do. There is no school in his neighbourhood. He is poor and works barefooted.
There are 10,000 other shoeless rag-pickers like Saheb. They live in Seemapuri, on the outer edge of Delhi, in structures of mud, with roofs of tin and tarpaulin but devoid of sewage, drainage or running water. They are squatters who came from Bangladesh back in 1971. They have lived here for more than thirty years without identity cards or permit. They have right to vote. With ration cards they get grains. Food is more important for survival than identity. Wherever they find food, they pitch their tents that become transit homes. Children grow up in them, and become partners in survival. In Seemapuri survival means rag-picking. Through the years rag-picking has acquired the proportions of a fine art. Garbage to them is gold. It is their daily bread and a roof over their heads.
Sometimes Saheb finds a rupee or even a ten-rupee note in the garbage-heap. Then there is hope of finding more. Garbage has a meaning different from what it means to their parents. For children it is wrapped in wonder, for the elders it is a means of survival.
One winter morning the author finds Saheb standing by the fenced gate of a neighbourhood club. He is watching two youngmen playing tennis. They are dressed in white. Saheb likes the game but he is content to watch it standing behind the fence. Saheb is wearing discarded tennis shoes that look strange over his discoloured shirt and shorts. For one who has walked barefoot, even shoes with a hole is a dream come true. But tennis is out of his reach.
This morning Saheb is on his way to the milk booth. In his hand is a steel canister. He works in a tea stall. He is paid 800 rupees and all his meals. Saheb is no longer his master. His face has lost the carefree look. He doesn’t seem happy working at the tea-stall. II. I Want to Drive a Car The author comes across Mukesh in Firozabad. His family is engaged in bangle making, but Mukesh insists on being his own master. “I will be a motor mechanic,” he announces. “I will learn to drive a car,” he says.
Firozabad is famous for its bangles. Every other family in Firozabad is engaged in making bangles. Families have spent generations working around furnaces, welding glass, making bangles for women. None of them know that it is illegal for children like Mukesh to work in the glass furnaces with high temperatures, in dingy cells without air and light. They slog their daylight hours, often losing the brightness of their eyes. If the law is enforced, it could get Mukesh and 20,000 children out of the hot furnaces.
They walk down stinking lanes choked with garbage, past homes that remain hovels with crumbling walls, wobbly doors and no windows. Humans and animals, co-exist there. They enter a half-built shack. One part of it is thatched with dead grass. A frail young woman is cooking evening meal over a firewood stove. She is the wife of Mukesh’s elder brother and already in charge of three men-her husband, Mukesh and their father. The father is a poor bangle maker. Despite long years of hard labour, first as a tailor and then as a bangle maker, he has failed to renovate a house and send his two sons to school. All he has managed to do is teach them what he knows: the art of making bangles.
Mukesh’s grandmother has watched her own husband go blind with the dust from polishing the glass of bangles. She says that it is his destiny. She implies that god-given lineage can never be broken. They have been born in the caste of bangle makers and have seen nothing but bangles of various colours. Boys and girls sit with fathers and mothers welding pieces of coloured glass into circles of bangles. They work in dark hutments, next to lines of flames of flickering oil lamps. Their eyes are more adjusted to the dark than to the light outside. They often end up losing their eyesight before they become adults.
Savita, a young girl in a drab pink dress, sits along side an elderly woman. She is soldering pieces of glass. Her hands move mechanically like the tongs of a machine. Perhaps she does not know the sanctity of the bangles she helps make. The old woman beside her has not enjoyed even one full meal in her entire life time. Her husband is an old man with flowing beard. He knows nothing except bangles. He has made a house for the family to live in. He has a roof over his head.
Little has moved with time in Firozabad. Families do not have enough to eat. They do not have money to do anything except carry on the business of making bangles. The youngmen echo the lament of their elders. They have fallen into the vicious circle of middlemen who trapped their fathers and forefathers. Years of mind-numbing toil have killed all initiative and the ability to dream. They are unwilling to get organised into a cooperative. They fear that they will be hauled up by the police, beaten and dragged to jail for doing something illegal. There is no leader among them. No one helps them to see things differently. All of them appear tired. They talk of poverty, apathy, greed and injustice.
Two distinct worlds are visibleone, families caught in poverty and burdened with the stigma of caste in which they are born; the other, a vicious circle of money-lenders, the middlemen, the policemen, the keepers of law and politicians. Together they have imposed the baggage on the child that he cannot put it down. He accepts it as naturally as his father. To do anything else would mean to dare. And daring is not part of his growing up. The author is cheered when she senses a flash of it in Mukesh who wants to be a motor mechanic.
Class 12 English Flamingo Summary
Chapter 1 The Last Lesson Summary
Chapter 2 Lost Spring Summary
Chapter 3 Deep Water Summary
Chapter 4 The Rattrap Summary
Chapter 5 Indigo Summary
Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes Summary
Chapter 7 The Interview Summary
Chapter 8 Going Places Summary
Chapter 9 My Mother at Sixty-six Summary
Chapter 10 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Summary
Chapter 11 Keeping Quiet Summary
Chapter 12 A Thing of Beauty Summary
Chapter 13 A Roadside Stand Summary
Chapter 14 Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers Summary