The Lost Child is a story about a little child who becomes a victim to an unfortunateevent. He loses contact with his loved ones in a village fair. The story depicts the struggleof getting lost and separated from the comfort and security of one’s loved ones.The day of the fairIt is the spring festival and the main attraction is the village fair.A massive crowd has gathered to partake in the festivities. There are people fromdifferent walks of life.
They have colorful and diverse appearances; some are brightlydressed while some are ordinarily clad. The crowd is thronging out of the town andmoving toward the village fair.The protagonist, a young boy is also there accompanied by his parents. He wandersabout the pleasantries on offer and is particularly interested in the toys sittingbeautifully in the fair stalls and shops.He yearns to play with them but his desire is dismissed by his father. His mother offers awarm and tender reply and asks him to look at the beautiful setting instead.
The yellow fieldsEven though he is heartbroken with unfulfilled desires, ganders at the massive expanseof mustard fields in front of him. He is overcome with delight and joy after taking issuch a beautiful sight. The fields are decorated with yellow flowers which are dotting thelandscape with pristine natural beauty.
The little boy’s innocence is reflected by the factthat on watching such beauty he forgets the pain of his dashed hopes of a toy. He findsamusement in Mother Nature’s ample bosom.Unperturbed by the remains of his desires, he is gripped with childlike mischief. Heenters the fields and rummages through the flower.
He finds purpose and gratificationin chasing his new pursuit, the colorful butterflies and dragon flies. To him theyrepresent a greater catch than any toy at the fair.The mother is aware of his love affair with the butterflies and asks him to not wander offfar and away. The motherly care adds more beauty to the context of beauty of the scene.The boy returns to his parents and accompanies them on the sidewalk. However, hisattention again flirts with new pursuits, little worms and insects. He swings and chasesafter them.
The mother again warns him about not running off far. The parents decideto rest near a well in a grove and sit on its edge. They were provided shade by ahumongous banyan tree.
It was vast in tots spread and its branches dominated overother smaller trees like Gulmohur etc.The child, unaware of their whereabouts, loses his way this time and reached the fairinstead. He is oblivious to the fact that his parents had decided to stop for some rest.
Lost in the distractionsIn the midst of the fair, his attention is fixed on the sweetmeat seller who is exhortingcustomers to enjoy the sugary delight of his sweetmeats.The boy begins slavering for his favorite burfi. He is aware that his desire and limits hisconfession to a faint whisper and moves on.Then, he sees a flower vendor and balloon seller. He shows a great understanding of hiscircumstance and does not linger too long at any of his desired allurements.Now, he meets a snake charmer.
The man has a flute and a snake. He is sized with adesire to seek the thrill of a man controlling the dangerous reptile but he remembers hisunfortunate limitation.The child reaches a roundabout. He can see it whirring round and round. There areplenty of men, women and children having the time of their lives riding on it.
His nerve breaks at his attraction and he turns around to plead his parents to allow himto enjoy the ride once. To his utter dismay and horror, he does not find them there. He isall alone and deserted in a crowd of strangers.The dawn of realityIn his fearful astonishment, he runs all over hunting for his parents. Tears tickle downhis face, his turban is undone and his clothes are drenched in dust and sweat.His desperate attempts to relocate his parents find no sympathy in a crowd of strangerwho are consumed in self-indulgence, frolics and merry making.He gets tired, rests and dries his tears only to start running again. He keeps yelling forhis mother and father, in the hope that they may hear his mournful cries.
A sympathetic strangerHe reaches a temple but the huge crowd at the door knocks him off of his feet. Lying onthe ground he is almost trampled over by the crowd of devotees when someone helpshim to his feet. The man is sympathetic to the boy’s plight and enquires about hissituation and family.The child is overcome with grief and emotions and cannot stop wailing.
The only wordshe can muster are that explain his desire for his parents. The sympathetic man comfortsthe child and tries to console him.He offers him a ride on the roundabout, to distract him as well. However, the child isgrief-stricken and unable to control his tears and painful cries. The man tries to distracthim again by taking him to the snake-charmer.
The child refuses this offer as well. Theman offers to buy him balloons but to no avail.At last, he offers him some sweetmeats including the burfi.
But even this noble attemptfailed to soothe the hurt of the lost child. The child continued sobbing writhing inanguish and screaming for a glimpse and reunion with his mother and father.Key Thoughts:The story beautifully explores the imaginative and curious mind of a child. It narrateshow the wonders of the World and their beauty captivate a child’s fancy.The innocence of a child is exhibited in the soft manner he overcomes the pain of hisunfulfilled dreams and finds beauty in the simple things like the bounties of MotherNature. The child relishes the fluttering of the winged creatures like butterflies and isoverjoyed to the see the delightful beauty of flower petals.
The child’s mind does not burden itself with the irrecoverable past or the unachievablefuture. It focuses on the possibilities of the present.Another theme that the author has touched is the courage that the child exhibits. Evenafter realizing the harsh reality of being lost, he remembers to do the right thing andlook for his parents. He is also well aware of the natural bond and instinct of parentsand their children and is immune to the allures of fleeting pleasures in sweetmeats orjoyrides offered by the kind man.