February 4, 2008

face it!

During my journey from Delhi to Hyderabad, in the second half of November last, life showed one of it's ugliest faces. The enormity of the sight has haunted me ever since, and I bristle every time the scene replays in my head. (Harder hit perhaps, as most part of my holiday was spent indulging a cherished two year old, the contrast was too acute I guess!)

What can be worse than seeing an innocent, 2 year old, somersault to the beats of his mother's drum, and beg around saying 'be human, gimme some money!' (I wonder if she was his mother! Didn't look like!) It rent my heart to see his tender childhood crushed under such burdens, as beggary, exploitation and abuse! He'd perform, sobbing all the while, then sobbing still, he'd go around, begging--plate in hand. It was hard to make out if his sobs were genuine, or he'd been seasoned to perform them so well! Whatever the truth, it points to just one thing--if children are the future of a nation, and, if this is the state a lot of our country's children are in, our future, for sure, is in danger of being crushed at it's very advent!

I wish I'd taken a picture of the sorry sight! Just that I couldn't pull out my camera and take one...for reasons more than one! A picture got taken all the same! And, I am still unable to rid myself of it! You just saw it!

This conjures up another such sight--a girl, a pre-schooler's age, carrying, in her arms, a baby barely an year old, it's hand out-stretched, to beg--and another, yet another...!

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