She had walked up and down the cobbled street for most of her growing up days. Thousands of steps she would take each morning with her father to reach her school had the silent company of the closed shutters of the haute couture boutiques, famed bakeries, and shops of prominent brands on the famous Avenue street of the town.
Come afternoon, the street would shed its sleepy avatar and come to life with fancy cars buzzing and some parked along the road. People with a hint of an aura of ‘larger than life’ surrounding them would descend from the cars to enter the shops with a sense of pumped-up purpose, with a glittering smile glued to their faces and their eyes hidden behind the cool shades barring the onlooker a gaze into their real world.
It was at this time that she would return from her school. Amongst the who’s who of the crowd on the Avenue street, she was a nondescript spot in worn-out uniform. No one ever bothered to take a note of her as everyone seemed to be lost in their bubble of thoughts and engrossed in their ivory tower way of life. She was never bothered by that though.
She however took note of everything with her ever-growing curiosity and awe and absorbed all sights and sounds to paint her monochromatic life with shades of vivacity of the future. Her shanty which was part of a slum was a complete contrast to the fairy tale life on Avenue street.
She fancied being one among them one day. She dreamed with her eyes open, of having her cake shop as she lay down most of the nights, counting the stars, in their shanty, on an empty stomach. The hunger in her belly was the only fuel that kept her dream alive and made her strive for it.
“Why are the newspapers stuck to the glass, Baba?”, she asked one day as she spotted the shop number 210 on the Avenue street wearing a deserted look.
“It was up for sale and someone who bought it is reconstructing it”
“Is it? Will it come out as a butterfly once done?”
“Hahaha…yes it will. You always fancy fairy stuff”
“Someday we can also come out of our slum-like butterfly, won’t we?”, she enquired with dreamy eyes.
“Why not? But those are distant dreams. And most of the dreams fade in the wake of the reality”
She did not get most of what her Baba was trying to convey. However, the “Why not?”, anchored firmly in her mind to give a sail to her dream.
Working her way up, making every drop of her sweat count with her steadfast determination, from a simple kitchen helper to the patissiere of the famous hotel chain, she earned a repute of distinction and enough a kitty to make her dream come true.
There she stood right in front of the same shop, shop number 210 on the Avenue street with its glass façade once again covered in the newspaper, this time as its proud owner with some grey streaks popping from her curly mop, as she watched the nameplate “Why Not?”, of her first-ever cake shop being fixed atop the shop.
‘One day it would be a global chain’, she wished.
‘Why not?’, whispered the breeze in her ears!