Fading childhood...


It was 12’o clock when I woke up last Sunday (thanks to the night shift on Friday)and heard my wife already in the kitchen, may be preparing something for lunch. With great difficulty, I dragged myself out of the bed. My feet refused to stand on the floor, as the tiles were still cold. Sudden rush of blood started flowing throughout my body as I felt early morning fainting sensation, though I had slept for really long hours… I started cursing and blaming the night shift and the kind of work I have been doing in the last few days. Some sort of frustration and disgust had already started developing in my heart as I entered kitchen to see what my wifey had prepared for the lunch.

When I was sipping tea with some wooziness in the balcony, I heard some strange music (or shall I say ‘noise’ of the drum). I was about to complain about that too, (as I was in a great mood of complaining about anything and everything) I was stuck by what was happening on the street!

A small girl in her early childhood (may be aged around 3-4) was flipping back on her head like what we see in some of those dance shows. It grabbed my attention and soon my wifey joined to watch the little girl perform in our lane. She was accompanied by a boy looked like her brother who was in his early teen, and her mother who was holding a baby. The boy continued to beat the drum as the little girl flipped back and forth. The little girl’s action did grab the attention of people passing by and those who lived in adjacent buildings. Once they felt enough people are watching them, the boy instructed her to do what I had not seen live till that day. A rope tied between two wooden logs setup, which was about 6ft high. Without any hesitation, with the initial help of her brother she climbed up and started adjusting herself on the starting point. Another wooden log was given to her, not sure what was the weight of that log she was holding, but it certainly looked a lot bigger for 4yr old kid. That was perhaps for balancing. And then, she started walking slowly with no support. Well, it might not look big or something impossible or even something that was never tried before. But the fact that the 4 year kid was doing it certainly made me forget about my last sip of tea.

little one in action...


She reached the other end and I thought that’s it... But she proved me wrong. She came backwards!! Now walking on the rope, though it is just 6ft high (considerably a bit risky for someone like her that too when there is no support, the risk gets multiplied by two, if you are coming backwards). When she was half way through, my heart almost came to my mouth when she started trembling. But then, I realized it was part of her act. She vigorously started shaking the rope while managing herself standing firm. Any person with a heart would feel pity for her. I decided to give them some money, as I went down thinking that the street circus would have ended. But she proved me wrong again! This time,  her brother placed a cycle rim (which only has its circular perimeter with the inner sticks removed)  on the rope. “Don’t tell me, is she going to walk on that!” I heard my thoughts! She placed her tiny, gentle legs on the rim and started walking (or shall I say riding?) smoothly along the rope as if she is riding a single tire bicycle with no pedals or handles!!


no scope for mistakes...


After she got down, the little girl then walked around holding a plate with some hopes in her eyes, thinking she had done enough to drive the onlookers mind and heart to help their living (in the form of money). I checked the plate when she came near me, it was definitely not enough. I knew that, what I was going to give her was also not sufficient for their family for even 2 days. She was pretty just like other children, who deserved a better life. ‘How unfortunate?’ I thought to myself. But I didn’t see that thought, the feeling of disappointment or failure to draw more money with her splendid performance in her eyes. Instead, I could still see that shine in her eyes which every innocent kid would have. As I started walking back, I saw the little girl giving the money to her mother and then she continued playing in the mud, stones later with her baby sister… completely occupied in her own world!

big responsibility behind this innocence...

Amazing! How I wish to remain as a kid just to have those innocence back… I had completely forgotten about my dizziness and my mind was out of its ‘complaining’ mood. It also brought me a thought which said – how fortunate I am. I had everything since the time I was born (though I don’t remember much of it but still.. ) I mean I had everything, compared to that 4 year old whose past, present and  even future may not have all those things which most of us have enjoyed. Most part of her childhood has already filled with such a responsibility of street performance, on which her entire family depends upon!!  She may be unaware of what lies on her shoulder completely, it may look like just another game for her… But, she actually holds the key to the living of her family. Too young for such a responsibility isn’t it? She may continue doing this throughout her childhood, what we call - one of the most beautiful phases of human lives, or may even continue doing beyond that. How unfortunate! 

It makes me wonder, the job we are doing which we may call the worst, toughest - sometimes doesn't look that bad... the weekends, that we call boring, sometimes, look good the way it is... the life which we complain for anything and everything, sometimes looks a lot better... It is not that I have changed and I will not complain throughout my life after watching that girl. Like every other wound that heals by time, this thought will also fade. Upon that, this is not even a wound, just a thought... But one thing is sure, that it really made me feel better. It made me feel, that I am fortunate to have blessed with so many things in life, which we often tend to oversee due to other less important or silly matters we come across...

Comments

Jidhu Jose said…
everything for hunger
LauraX said…
it is too easy to take our comforts for granted...and then to see a beautiful child like this and the difficult life that is likely ahead...one can only pray that she does have enough to eat, that her smile is genuine and she will experience true happiness in her life many times over, even if it is a very different life path than our own.
Sneha Sunny said…
India is full of such childrens :-(. I hope the condition of such children would be better in future....
RNSANE said…
This is many of us, especially in my country, have so much, yet we constantly complain. Yes, we are going through a major recession right now and people are suffering the loss of their job ( myself included )but we have so much more than many people elsewhere. Your story of this sweet little girl is a good reminder to treasure what we have.a very sad story and, you are right, so
With tears in my eyes, I just hope that our country becomes better.. Nothing more to say.. :(
Saru Singhal said…
Well, I have nothing to say as I have worked a lot in my hometown and village. I used to help by paying their fees and other expenses but they never wanted to study(their parents). There are very few who want to do something with their lives. Great post though...
gowthami said…
'big responsibiliy behind innocence'... :(

May god bless her and her family!


Well thought..it depends on our perception whether to complain on anything and everything or to explore happiness in what we have or what we do!

Nice post.
Spicy Sweet said…
Life is really tough for people out there. We think we have problems.
If we can sponsor one or two thousand per child's education, if we can take up that responsibility (of-course, it is hard to convince their parents. If we succeed somehow)I see brighter India.

Sad, my heart was churning as I read your post.
Sunil Padiyar said…
@ Jidu - Yes, indeed it is...

@Laura - Very true. At the end, we can only hope and pray for those thousands out there just like her...

@Sneha - It is not just India, there are many more like these elsewhere in the world.. may be even in worser condition... And I do hope their future would be better than their present..

@Rnsane - Sorry to know. I do understand what you are saying. Everyone, especially the middle class people are suffering a lot now a days. But then, for a moment, I got over all those burning issues looking at her. You made a correct point which is exactly what I was trying to say.
And I sincerely hope & wish you get a nice job soon. All the best.

@Devi - True my friend... I hope it gets better everywhere, not just in our country.

@Saru - That is really great... I mean, to know that you were doing such noble thing... But yeah, some of them make don't use it in the right way.. Can't blame them, their situation is of that sort..


Thank you all for your thoughts and comments. May you all have good forutne and may you be able to help the unfortunates in some or the other way....
Sunil Padiyar said…
@gowthami - Thank you for your thoughts...

@Spicy sweet - I agree on that note... Thanks for your feedback...
Bhavna said…
such a pain to see this.....the hands which should play with dolls and doll houses is balancing a stick as she balances herself on a small line of rope....as youngsters we too need to bring light to such topic and stop events from happening....our government has failed to do so....parents who can't afford the cost for themselves have kids and then more kids and then the childhood fades even before they realize that they are kids...very sad very touching....we have no right to blame our jobs , our bosses if we really think how this girl is managing her job
These young children-they lose their childhood so early in life, but take us back to our childhood days. You have started making good use of your camera- the expression on the girl's face is worth another article.
Deepak Bhakta said…
Wow man... No words... feelin of being responsible towards my family get me worried sometimes... when i read ur article i feel nothin compared to tat girl :(
SUB said…
life isn't fair...hunger can make you do a lot of stuff that you might not like...the entire economic system is flawed...there will be poor people as long as there are rich ones...unfortunate...

very well written

cheers!
SUB
Sunil Padiyar said…
@Bhavna - Not just the govt, there are many other things which are responsible for poverty in India.. And yes, we don't have right to blame what god has given to us..

@Hariharan - True sir...

@Deepak - Well, it is the game of life... it isn't fair and equal with everyone... All I can, we are fortunate..

@SUB - Excellent point.

Thank you all for your valuable comments.
magiceye said…
beautifully narrated
sad that so many children lose their childhood so soon ....
Sadiya Merchant said…
its like wen u c an accident n suddenly u get all shaken up. 2 days latr it fades away :)
nice n thot provokin :)
Sunil Padiyar said…
@megiceye - Yes it is sad... Thanks for your comments.. :)

@Sadiya - Spot on.. :) that is exactly what I wanted to tell..
Thank you for your comments :)
I had almost had my eyes moist seeing her walking on the rope... and the way she vigorously shook the rope made my heart skip a beat... it was so dangerous.. and when I saw that guy keeping a plate on the rope, I knew I cant watch more so went inside... :(
zephyr said…
It is all about perspective, isn't it? Life is also so relative that what for one is a matter of livelihood is a matter of entertainment for the other. It is for us to learn out lessons from every event around us and become better human beings.

btw, just curious: after a night shift on Friday, you slept through Saturday and half of Sunday? Can't believe it :D :D
Sunil Padiyar said…
@Priti - yeah, I know that..

@zephyre - very good point.. and about the night shift, actually I didn't get sleep on Sat night because of it.. it was more like, I had another night shift :P
jojofeelings said…
A touching post. But I guess others have already pondered a lot on the topic of the post. So, i'll move to the writing. Extremely well written. It kept my attention to the post and made sure i read it till the last word.
chitra said…
sunil..a post every one must read.
Purba said…
Does she feel sorry for herself? This is what fetches her family their two square meals. And it is better than begging at the traffic crossing.

I am more worried about what happens when she grows older. How will the family survive?
Sunil Padiyar said…
@jojofeelings - thanks for your valuable comments.

@chitra - I agree.

@Purba - Well, I couldn't see that from her face.. She looked dedicated... And I agree on that part.. It is much better than begging... Thanks for your valuable thoughts..

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