A professor of history and had just finished teaching about the Freedom Struggle of India. She said to the students, “Now that we have covered most of our History syllabus, you would be thinking about how things could have been different if certain people had behaved differently or if certain people had not played the roles that they did. Can you think of different outcomes to different historical times had the circumstances been altered?” The students were thoughtful and silent. Strangely no one came forward with an answer.
The teacher continued, “Alright, let’s imagine that each one of us can sit in a time machine and go back to any period of time that we wish to. Think about this for two minutes and let me know to which period you would like to go back to and why?”
The students contemplated hard and most of them were smiling at the end of the two minute period. It was Revati who offered to speak first, “Ma’am I would like to go back to the time of Akbar for I would love to be a witness to Birbal’s wit and wisdom.”
Raunaq said, “Ma’am I would like to go back to 1947, so that I could be a part of the freedom struggle of India.”
Shaina said, “Ma’am I would like to travel back to the time of Lord Rama, for I would love to learn the art of warfare from Vishwamitra. It seems the arrows possessed by Lord Rama were as dangerous as the Nuclear Bomb.”
Baron said, passionately, “Ma’am I wish I could go back to the time when Jesus walked this Earth. I would never have let Him be crucified. I would have done something to save Him from the pain.”
Gaurika’s voice was barely audible as she fought to swallow the rising lump in her throat, “Four years is all I want to go back, so that I can hold my little brother in my arms, one last time and tell him how much I love him.”
There was a pregnant silence till the teacher chose to break it delicately, “Gaurika, your brother died?” With tear-filled eyes she said, “Yes, Ma’am, my little brother was born with a hole in his heart. My parents tried hard to save him. But he didn’t survive the surgery. I loved him, I still love him.”
The words were lost but the love and pain that was fresh in Gaurika’s heart oozed out and spelt an ode to the tiny soul that had passed over to eternity in the time machine.