It was Friday and I was planning all the goodies for the evening and weekend, when I get a message asking me to check my mail. I have a meeting until 7.30 in the evening and I have also been given some .. ok, loads of extra work. There went my good mood. Cursing and grumbling under my breath I get ready for work and come out of home and BAM. I literally walk out into this wall of Heat. High humidity and higher temperature. *Phew*
Miserable all around I sit in the share auto squeezed next to other equally miserable folks heading to their offices when I see this woman sitting on the platform. She has a baby, of perhaps a few months, lying on a rag next to her and she is gesticulating to someone.
Curious I peak out of the window and I see a little girl and a little boy with tin cans in their arms begging. The woman was directing the kids. The little girl, maybe 6 or 7 years old was clearly frightened to get down from the safety of the platform and get down amidst the huge vehicles waiting for the signal to fall. But at the screams from the woman, I could see her literally gritting her teeth in determination and getting down to walk in between the vehicles.
My auto-wallah meanwhile had started to scream at the woman, and he was being ignored by her and her kids as so much back ground noise.
A movement by my side caught my attention and I turned. It was the woman's 4th kid. A toddler , who had not yet mastered walking. She was trying hard to maintain her balance but was imitating her brother and sister perfectly. The child had not even learnt to walk yet but she had learnt to beg and to whine in that pathetic way of beggars.
I have never claimed to be a bleeding heart nor am I a very socio-aware person and I have surely seen kids beg before, so why did these children affect me so profoundly. I am not sure.
But I still had this weird cauldron of emotions bubbling inside me. Helplessness for not being able to do anything, gratitude, for but for a chance of birth, it could have been me on the other side seeing in, Anger and a lot more.
It’s really a frightening world out there. :-(