CBSE Class 12 English - Lost Spring
About the Author: Anees Jung raises voice against child labor by educating poor children. She works in support of enforcing strict laws against this.
The theme of the story:
- The story ‘Lost Spring’ addresses the pitiable condition of the poor children who are unable to enjoy their childhood due to their poor socio economic condition that prevails in the place they dwell in.
- These children live a life that is far distant and different from the life of a normal child who receives education and is not forced into labor in his early life. The story gives the call to end child exploitation and let these children enjoy the days of spring that would bring joy under their feet.
‘Sometimes I find a Rupee in the garbage’
The story describes the life of the rag pickers who have migrated from Dhaka to Seemapuri in search of a living. Their green fields back home had been swept away by the storms. Saheb is one such rag picker who scroungers for ‘gold’ as in garbage every morning because garbage to them is gold and their daily bread.
The word garbage has a different meaning for their parents and these children. To their parents, it’s their means of survival and for the children, it is wrapped in wonder. Sahib gets really fascinated when he tells the narrator that sometimes he even finds a ten rupee note in the garbage. These children have dreams and desires but no means to achieve them. They lack basic amenities like shoes and try to be happy by justifying that it is a tradition to remain or stay barefoot. They are caught in a web of poverty and are burdened by the blemishes of caste in which they are caught
‘I want to drive a car’
The story deals with the life of Mukesh who belongs to the family of bangle makers. Approximately 20,000 children are engaged in this business of bangle making unaware of the law that forbids them to do so. They live in very poor conditions and miserable working conditions.
The children working under such harmful and terrible atmosphere lose their eyesight or sometimes even go blind before stepping into adulthood. In fact, their eyes are more adjusted to the dark than to the light. Mukesh’s grandmother has accepted this lifestyle and says that it’s her husband’s ‘karma’, his destiny that he has gone blind with the dust from polishing the bangles. On being asked by the narrator that why don’t they organize themselves into cooperatives they reply that even if they get organized they will be the one who will be mistreated, beaten and jailed by the police for doing something illegal. Because there is no leader among them they don’t look things differently. They are caught in a vicious circle of the ‘sahukaars’, the keepers of the law, the bureaucrats and the politicians. However, Mukesh is different from the rest of the folk there. He dreams to become a motor mechanic and wants to go to the garage and learn. He is content to dream of cars that he sees hurtling down the streets of his town.