The Lost Child is a story about a little child who becomes a victim to an unfortunate
event. He loses contact with his loved ones in a village fair. The story depicts the struggle
of getting lost and separated from the comfort and security of one’s loved ones.
The day of the fair
It 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 from
different walks of life. They have colorful and diverse appearances; some are brightly
dressed while some are ordinarily clad. The crowd is thronging out of the town and
moving toward the village fair.
The protagonist, a young boy is also there accompanied by his parents. He wanders
about the pleasantries on offer and is particularly interested in the toys sitting
beautifully in the fair stalls and shops.
He yearns to play with them but his desire is dismissed by his father. His mother offers a
warm and tender reply and asks him to look at the beautiful setting instead.
The yellow fields
Even though he is heartbroken with unfulfilled desires, ganders at the massive expanse
of mustard fields in front of him. He is overcome with delight and joy after taking is
such a beautiful sight. The fields are decorated with yellow flowers which are dotting the
landscape with pristine natural beauty. The little boy’s innocence is reflected by the fact
that on watching such beauty he forgets the pain of his dashed hopes of a toy. He finds
amusement in Mother Nature’s ample bosom.
Unperturbed by the remains of his desires, he is gripped with childlike mischief. He
enters the fields and rummages through the flower. He finds purpose and gratification
in chasing his new pursuit, the colorful butterflies and dragon flies. To him they
represent 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 off
far 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, his
attention again flirts with new pursuits, little worms and insects. He swings and chases
after them. The mother again warns him about not running off far. The parents decide
to rest near a well in a grove and sit on its edge. They were provided shade by a
humongous banyan tree. It was vast in tots spread and its branches dominated over
other smaller trees like Gulmohur etc.
The child, unaware of their whereabouts, loses his way this time and reached the fair
instead. He is oblivious to the fact that his parents had decided to stop for some rest.
Lost in the distractions
In the midst of the fair, his attention is fixed on the sweetmeat seller who is exhorting
customers to enjoy the sugary delight of his sweetmeats.
The boy begins slavering for his favorite burfi. He is aware that his desire and limits his
confession to a faint whisper and moves on.
Then, he sees a flower vendor and balloon seller. He shows a great understanding of his
circumstance 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 a
desire to seek the thrill of a man controlling the dangerous reptile but he remembers his
The child reaches a roundabout. He can see it whirring round and round. There are
plenty 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 him
to enjoy the ride once. To his utter dismay and horror, he does not find them there. He is
all alone and deserted in a crowd of strangers.
The dawn of reality
In his fearful astonishment, he runs all over hunting for his parents. Tears tickle down
his 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 stranger
who 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 for
his mother and father, in the hope that they may hear his mournful cries.
A sympathetic stranger
He reaches a temple but the huge crowd at the door knocks him off of his feet. Lying on
the ground he is almost trampled over by the crowd of devotees when someone helps
him to his feet. The man is sympathetic to the boy’s plight and enquires about his
situation and family.
The child is overcome with grief and emotions and cannot stop wailing. The only words
he can muster are that explain his desire for his parents. The sympathetic man comforts
the child and tries to console him.
He offers him a ride on the roundabout, to distract him as well. However, the child is
grief-stricken and unable to control his tears and painful cries. The man tries to distract
him again by taking him to the snake-charmer. The child refuses this offer as well. The
man offers to buy him balloons but to no avail.
At last, he offers him some sweetmeats including the burfi. But even this noble attempt
failed to soothe the hurt of the lost child. The child continued sobbing writhing in
anguish and screaming for a glimpse and reunion with his mother and father.
The story beautifully explores the imaginative and curious mind of a child. It narrates
how 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 his
unfulfilled dreams and finds beauty in the simple things like the bounties of Mother
Nature. The child relishes the fluttering of the winged creatures like butterflies and is
overjoyed to the see the delightful beauty of flower petals.
The child’s mind does not burden itself with the irrecoverable past or the unachievable
future. It focuses on the possibilities of the present.
Another theme that the author has touched is the courage that the child exhibits. Even
after realizing the harsh reality of being lost, he remembers to do the right thing and
look for his parents. He is also well aware of the natural bond and instinct of parents
and their children and is immune to the allures of fleeting pleasures in sweetmeats or
joyrides offered by the kind man.