Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Beware of sentimentality. It tends to sting.

Our rapacious teachers decided to be ultra mean to us today, so we stayed back in school to do CAS reflections. Pain in the ass yeah, but I got work done. So after it dad comes and gets me from Subway, the place we always go to after school, and we're on our way back home when he gets a huge hunger attack. No this post isn't called beware of sentimentality because my dad had a hunger attack, it's because while he stopped at the store to pick up some munchies, I waited in the car. And while waiting, a small girl, around half my height, with a dirty, muck-covered face and wearing raggety clothes, comes up to the car and starts tapping on the window. It's a usual sight in India, I know, but this time it was different, this time I felt different. The kid and the way she talked and the way she tried to coax me, it felt funny. Behind her, on the footpath I could see her mother and two other small infants clinging to the woman, but this child was consistent. I can almost still hear her cries of "Oh Didi, thoda doodh pilado, oh didii" still bouncing around in my head. Literally translating that would mean Oh big sister, please feed me some milk, but sounds pretty wrong in English =/. She topped it off by saying "Badi duayen milengi", meaning that I would get a lot of good wishes. Just from those few bare and simple words, I came to weirdly big conclusions.
That girl was smart. She was only around 8 or 9 years old and she still knew how to talk convincingly. She seemed to have so much potential, so much wasted potential. Maybe it was just me overreacting to that one incident, but I felt almost as if I had to do something. She definitely isn't the only one in India suffering in blasphemous poverty, it wasn't even her fault that she was born in an underprivileged household, so why can't we all somehow make a collective effort to make the future of our India, these children, no matter how poor, a bright one? Why must poverty make a child of that age beg for food, food that she has an equal right on as all of us do? Yep, sounds clichéd, but it's only so clichéd cuz it's true. India as a whole is still in a sorry state. There is much to be done, and each one of us makes a difference. I know I will.


Ashish said...

I can only but nod my head in agreement. Reminded me of something I did quite a few years back. It's not that India is in a sorry state, it is we. You, me, that girl... we all are. Realization has not yet dawned upon us. We still only but dream. Dream of a better tomorrow. But how would it be possible, is a question that still remains to be answered.

Shiv said...

Blame the insensitive Government! X-(
And the kids parents too. Why can't they sent her to some already overfilled municipal schools. Why should be always Individuals and NGO who have to strive hard to give access to education to such children.

Adarsh said...

no cliche
i hate the word
theres no such thing
kill/slap all the people who use that word

Ankita Wasan said...

=/ There is such a thing. Any annoyingly overused phrase is a cliché.