The little boy looked as yet another big box truck pulled up in front of the warehouse. It was the seventh that day.
‘Must be a busy day inside’, he thought wistfully.
The big box truck is what the little boy called the trailers. As the son of a warehouse owner, Advaith had spent almost the entire 10 years of his little life in the same compound as a warehouse. A long time ago, when it had still been empty, he remembered entering it. Two years ago though, he had run across small-needle-car to get his ball back.
His mother had let out a scream, as she dashed for him. The uniformed people had all crowded immediately. He had gotten his ball back by then. His mom hadn’t gotten very hurt, just a little bit of blood. But the fuss they made! A tall uniformed big man had made the most noise, yelling at his father. He’s been quite scared… but that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst of it, which has left him almost devastated, was that he was no longer allowed to go near the warehouse. He wasn’t allowed to go near the big-box-vehicles, he wasn’t allowed to led his car slide along the slope at the entrance to watch it crash into the big wall, he wasn’t even allowed close enough to see any details.
That all seemed like a very long time ago. It probably was, when you considered he was just ten.
Not being allowed near had never stopped him from imagining what could be going on inside though. In fact, it just added to the mysterious allure of it all.
The best part was one of those very rare instances when the giant giant picker upper came. He was always whisked away and locked in the house when it did. He didn’t mind though. Nothing could dampen his excitement when it came. Just the noise it made was enough to get his heart pounding.
He imagined all those uniformed people who walked in and out to be doing all sorts of interesting things inside. They sometimes carried cameras, big iron tools, and recently, there had been huge stacks of something his little mind couldn’t understand or fathom – but marvel and wonder at. He could see a lot of metal through the window. Stacked so close together, that those uniformed people couldn’t walk through that gap. But he knew he could.
Some days, when his imagination ran a little wilder, the uniformed people were planning world domination. At other times, they were doing really important things like saving the world. Yet other times, when he specially felt forlorn and left out about being kept so far away, he decided that they do nothing inside – just go in and stand still – as it was where they were punished.
Yet, no matter what, he always wanted to go in.
That was his dream.
To become one of the uniformed people one day.
To have access to the inside. To be able to go in and see, even better, control every thing that goes on in there.
One day, there would be no white line between the house and the warehouse, crossing which meant he would get yelled at.
He looked at his little pup, tied to the pillar. The pup couldn’t get as far as he wanted either. He patted the pup empathetically.
There were many uniformed people as well. Her too. She was the only one who noticed him. If only to smile and wave. Even so.
He briefly wondered if she would be there when he became one of them. He hoped she would, and that he could become her friend then.
They all seemed to be gathered in front of the opened big box, looking at so many sheets of paper and discussing something that he was sure was very important. And that’s when it happened.
She had walked a little away, to speak to someone at the little needle car. She had noticed him looking so longingly, and smiled at him. Embarrassed at being caught gawking, he’d turned away and pretended to be busy. He looked up at her slowly again, and she was smiling at him now. And could it be? She wasn’t waving, but calling him. He stared for a long moment to make sure that was what.
She was calling him to the little needle car.
Across the line.
He hadn’t realized when he had gotten up. He turned to his mother, who was a sitting a little away, at the entrance. She had noticed what had happened, and nodded at him, albeit warily. That was encouragement enough for him though.
He ran across. Across the white line, across to her.
The uniformed people turned for one moment, and he wondered if they would stop him. If this is as far as he would get to go. But no, she looked took care of their worried faces with just one look of her own.
‘Do you want to sit on this, and go for a little ride inside?’ she asked
He wanted to scream and shout. But he could make no sound. So he nodded violently.
The grin on his face made him feel like his cheeks might tear apart, but if he could have, he would have grinned wider.
Nothing in his imagination would probably match up to what a little boy’s eyes could see, while standing in front of the driver of a forklift, inside a warehouse.
His dream, which had been a seed, had just grown.