I saw something today,that i might not forget for the rest of my life.Even the mere recollection of it brings my dinner up from the stomach.It was a bleak picture,except that it was life unfolding itself before me.I have sen this before,but it never struck me as being so poignant .
It was a 7-9 year old boy.In the middle of a hot afternoon,scourging through the garbage bin.he only company he had was that of a dog,who was there for his own selfish motive.He dipped in his hand and found a stale packet of bread.That was the find of the day for him.He sat under the shadow of the bin,and began sharing that stinking morsel with his friend.At that point,I just could not take it.Then I did what first came to my mind.I left my company,went up to him and gave him a 5 rupee coin.He was first apprehensive at this intrusion of his lunch,then surprised at my foolishness.But then,he smiled.No other smile that i remember had wrenched my heart so much as this one.He held the coin in his hand,picked up the packet and walked away.
My friend came up to me and said," Well,now he won't go hungry for 2 more days."His observation chilled my heart.If it was sarcasm,it was cold.If he said the truth,even more so.Now,I sit here on a public platform and tell my story to young,rebellious and intellectual minds.I could quote Sartre,speak like Che,but does it matter? If i do,I might get a few more hits on my blog.But then,would i not be the ame as the many ppl of this city,who see such sights everyday,tut-tut for a moment and catch the next train home?
we have all seen movies.SALAAM BOMBAY,CHANDNI BAR,TRAFFIC SIGNAL.What happens after these movies?We all applaud the grit,courage of the filmmaker.The director wins a national award,the actor a filmfare.But what of those characters?What about the beggars,the prostitutes,the 'system'?They keep on.With every turn of the reel they return to their pain,hunger and humiliation.Eternally trapped within 24 reels.
I am doing my BA today.I might do an Ma.Years later,I might go to Oxford.But what of the boy on the street?What future does he have?Is it going to be better? If so,how?What kind of company does he live in,what sort of a life would he lead?Does he have a family?Or a mother ? Where is his mother...does anyone know where his motheris? Is she happy that her son can feed himself? Or is she scavenging somewhere else?Or worse...?
Mumbai is a city of dreams.what sort of dreams are we talking about here?Does this boy even dream?He probably walks around those desolate streets at night,hungry and under the influence f drugs.Used more to obliviate hunger,than as a tool of pleasure.What country gives its citizens food not fit for dogs?So what if it is 'imported'.Well,we have so long been used to seeing slavery,oppression that some of us have got used to it.The poor are happy,as long as they get to eat,so what if it is dog food,It is imported.
I feel nauseating.I find my life and the existence of it in such a society disgusting.Who am I to judge others.I am a hypocrite myself.When you have such thoughts,questions,and see such sights.what do you do?What could you do,other than ignore them and continue to live in a blissfully fictional world,where 'pain is but an occasional episode'.
Wake up,for somebody else lives a life in pain.