Tag Archives: Children

The Homeless of the Palace


Home is where the heart longs to be even after seeing the grandeur of the world outside.
Home is where there are the few people who love you, within the walls inside, even though there are million better people in the world outside. Home is where there is freedom, confined behind the bars of love, respect, trust and belonging.

Many people in this world are without a House- sleeping on streets on cold winter nights, couching under polythene sheets when it rains, rolling on dusty footpaths in scorching summers… Yes there is Pain. But there is Freedom too.
For many others, trapped within the four walls of the mansions of their masters- it rains fear. And Life is an endless winter-cold, dry. Life is a footpath which people trample by.

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This story is of two such children who unfortunately have such kind of a Home- Bubbly and Chutki. Bubbly is a black eyed, black bodied 15 year old girl. Chutki, who was so small when she came that nobody remembers her real name. For her mini size, they call her Chutki.

It is Raina’s Birthday, the daughter-in-law of the majestic mansion. There’s a cake being cut, snacks distributed to the guests. Raina feeds the cake to every member and calls out for the two girls. Fear gripping them, they run away.

An hour later she watches them eat fragments of the cake, in the kitchen crooks. There is ice cream too but the expensive porcelain bowls are noticed to have been misplaced. The father-in-law takes out his slippers and lashes at Chutki. The mother-in-law does the balancing act. She asks to lash Bubbly too…
The two celebrate their birthdays there…the price for being born as orphans and to poor parents is very well paid. They will never blow the candles, where life has rubbed off their flames. They will never cut Birthday cakes, where life cuts them each moment with its injustice and irony…

Raina regrets, why had she ever gifted her father-in-law those Slippers… Why was it even her birthday!!
The midnight party ends. Raina looks at the two who haven’t shed a tear. Their eyes are ice-white and cheeks and ears blood-red. They lick the quarter scoop of molten ice-cream fast, before that too is taken away and flung into the sink.
Raina’s conscience melts into guilt. She cannot revolt, cannot protect, cannot love them too. She cries into the night wondering how they never cry.

Some days she wakes up at 6 to see them being lashed with a broom or a ladle or a lock , for an unclean floor, an unironed saree, or for simply giggling like ‘illiterate and uncultured’ brats. She cannot decide what good literacy or culture might have done to them. She was literate and cultured and so were her in-laws- one was the heartless perpetrator the other a coward, passive passerby…

She hugs them when they are alone,praises them generously, gives them little hair-clips and trinkets, laughs with them, slips candies into their palms each day…They hastily swallow it for fear of being caught, sometimes even being caught and lashed once again…

Again the candy has choked Bubbly’s throat and she has choked the tears somewhere behind her eyes, acting as if it was all a common affair. No guilt, no pain- like the killing of a mosquito.

Raina says, “Bubbly! Look there are many children in this world who donot have a house, who donot have clothes, who donot get to eat even twice a day. So atleast you have all that…Don’t you think so?”… speaking as if they have ever complained. The coward in her conscience, pacifying their hidden pain.

Bubbly smiles with her bunny teeth ajar, “But Didi we donot eat too, when we break the glass tumblers.”

Raina tries to smile. God is kind enough to put these Iron birds in this Golden cage. Had they been birds of glass, they would have shattered just like her.

PS:
According to the latest Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report from UNESCO, there are 57.8 million children who are out of primary school globally, and India with its 1.4 million children out of school, is among the global top 5 worst performers.To put it simply, worldwide, 1 in 10 children are not in school.With an officially estimated 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous occupations (2001 Census), India has the largest number of child labourers under the age of 14 in the world.Nearly 85 per cent of child labourers in India are hard-to-reach, invisible and excluded, as they work largely in the unorganised sector, both rural and urban, within the family or in household-based units,or as domestic helps which are generally out of the purview of labour laws. They are nothing but Bonded labour, because no child will willfully surrender his/her childhood for money whose value he/she is too young to understand.

Ever thought? a child labour becomes a labour first, and a Child never!

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If Ignorance is Bliss. It has to be This!


In a country like India, a Twenty Point program is a sine qua non for all planning and ‘Pursuit of Happiness’. So when today I suddenly noticed how unhappy I was with my awful awesome Life, it struck me to have my Twenty point program as well.

Being a twenty-nothing myself, I jotted down some of the ‘facts’ I believe to be true.
And I would be utterly obliged if you did too. 😀

Because howsoever it may be a cliche,
I can’t deny that Ignorance is Bliss! 😉
So in search for that peace,
I started off this piece…

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1. I am unemployed By choice and not by compulsion. I am a Software Engineer with hardwired intent to master in Humanities. Hence a Post Graduate in Human Rights Law and a Post graduate in Sociology too. I am just a PhD away from teaching at Oxford 😛
This is frictional unemployment. Even globalization couldn’t  find me a suitable role profile to match my excellently erratic back ground! Shame on it!

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2. I have always worked hard. All that I have achieved is a direct consequence of it. All that I have not- Blame it on my Luck.

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3. I am not a cry baby. Courageous people reflect their true emotions. I am courageous to cry 24×7, without worrying about your tolerance levels.

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4. I am not fat plump. I am healthy. But If you are not convinced, you  should know..My clothes shrunk, I didn’t expand.

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5. If you still think I did! My recent increase in diameter and circumference are directly proportional to my dedication for my Husband. He cannot lose weight, so I am catching up. Indian women are epitomes of sacrifice.

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6.My husband is tall.
I don’t wear heels because they are bad for my back bone aaand I think Elephants are cuter than giraffes.

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7. I can buy clothes, cosmetics, shoes, bags, accessories… and the world. I am Rich.
But I don’t buy them. Not because the “housewife-allowance” is meager to me. But because I hate the culture of consumerism. 😛

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8.I am beautiful. I was born to feature in fairness lotion ads. But Hard work and  the Tropical Sun tanned my modelling prospects 😛

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9. I am a good cook. I like what I cook. And more importantly, I can eat what I cook. My husband eats in his office cafeteria because he is fond of fast-food more than his wife.
Sometimes I accidentally cook well mess up. It’s because while I cook, my MIL (Mother in Law) instructs, My SIL (Sister in law) OVERsees and like you know- too many cooks spoil the broth!

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10. I am not lazy.
But All I make is salad  and oats because- I like to eat healthy, Live longer. Also its the best way to censure unnecessary expenses and growing tumm
ies ( there are 5 of them, including mine)

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11. I am a master of all trades, jack of some more. Singing, writing, painting, gardening, cooking(under improvement),dancing(to my in-laws tunes)… I do it all!!
I am famous for nothing specific though, because I am yet to decide, which art I would like to be famous for.

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12. Especially, I am a prolific poet and a terrific author. But nobody reads my blog (inspite of zealous requests) because- Every successful artist is rejected a trillion times before being inducted into the Hall-of-Fame. I am no exception!

F.A.ME – Forever Away from ME! huh!!

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13. I cross the road with difficulty. But I can ride the scooter, drive the car, manoeuver the MiG and sail the ship.

I have the confidence. But so does my father. He is confident that it would turn out be an expensive affair. ( My last accident cost him Rs 25000— 5000 for an artificial tooth, 20000 for the braces. It was a scooter accident and the scale of damage was limited to one tooth. On a larger scale, with a larger vehicle and all of the 32 teeth… oops! perhaps I would rather agree than pay 32 x 5000 + 25000 !!!) 
Oh my God! I wish I were a dentist. They bite a hell lot of money on your bites! I might try pursuing that someday too 😉

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14. I am not slow- in reading, reacting, reflecting, reaching…
I finish 40 when you flag off 400 because- I am a perfectionist. I believe in quality, not quantity. Mind It!!!

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15. I am usually a silent, tacit person who doesn’t speak unless the need arises. It’s not my fault that the need arises so very often.

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16. I am an amicable soul. People don’t like me? It’s because they are Jealous! Now,who wouldn’t!! 😉 😛

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17. I am a little too angry, impatient, unpredictable and emotionally turbulent sometimes. But don’t you think it can be a Genetic disorder? Now that’s called Manufacturing defect! 😛

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18. Despite this my Parents love me more than Honey, their Pet dog.

(My nick name is Rocky and her’s is Honey. In India, 99/100 people assume, I am the Dog and  she’s the daughter! x-(  )

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19. I am not worried or desperate. This is just a prolooooonged bad phase.
After every dark winter comes a bright summer.
(and I would certainly be alive to witness it without being frozen to death! Hoorray!)
Until then I would wait and meditate.

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20. I am not Greedy. All I want is everything.
God!! Is it too much to ask for?

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As YOU sow, So shall THEY reap


You draw with henna on their hands
You braid their hair with colorful rubber-bands.
You dress them up sometimes, as a tiny bride.
You caress them to sleep in peace,by your side.

You giggle as you watch them grow,
From nursery rhymes in kindergarten.
to poetry in school.
From crushes in college
to a Love-smitten fool.

You teach them to be a wife,
A daughter, a sister,
and a Mother like you.
Because life’s tests would be many later,
But, the lessons very few.

You sow them with love..
You water them with tears..
You nourish them with culture
You teach them to face their fears.

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So that one day when they grow bigger than you ever thought..
Spreading their branches away from your flowering pot..

their flowers blossom,
their fruits bloom.
But in an unknown garden
leaving you behind in gloom

Gone is your little Bride
Someone else claims her,
She is someone’s big pride.

Now, you are a mere spectator Mother,
THEY are the owners of your Treasure.

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Gone is your lifetime investment,
Gone is your masterpiece,
Gone is she,
robbing all your bliss.

This is what is life you accept..
As YOU sow, So shall THEY reap..

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