It was Pooja’s elocution competition. Her mother had prepared her to speak. Pooja gradually walked up to the stage.
She realized her hands were trembling, her palms were sweating, her body felt shaky, her heart beating so fast that it could come out of the chest, she felt numb and was running out of breath.
A young lad would come to school early morning each day to start the fire in the pot-bellied coal stove to keep the classroom warm. On one unfortunate morning, his classmates arrived to find the premises in flames, his peers managed to drag the unconscious little boy out and took him to the nearby county hospital.