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Monday, May 16, 2011

Share Share Share....No No Never....

This last month I have been really appalled by the lack of basic human feelings like compassion in many well-to-do grown-ups I know or have randomly met. While these incidents I will mention below are not a surprise (I come across them ALL the time!!! and still can't believe people can be so crass), I still can't get used to them yet, and hope I never will. Please do not make any comment praising the deed, its not to mention what I have done, but to bring home the fact that a little compassion and love from every single one of us can really make us into the kind of human being we would want our children to look up to.

Instance 1:

On a hot sunny afternoon, I spot a little street kid, about four-years, eyeing a cool cocnut water stall, a tiny smile at the corner of his mouth just imagining that luxury. A rich young woman stands in perfect clothes and shades, waiting for her coconut.
"Are you giving him a coconut?" (I ask her pointing to the boy)
"No no...of course not, Im not giving him anything" (a scowl and a disgusted expression, as if the thought itself would give her a contagious non-curable disease)
I handed the boy a coconut water, another once he finished the first one, and can still see his smile light up his face.....The shopkeeper gave me one of those expected weird looks..
The whole episode took me about 5-8 minutes and cost me Rs. 40/-

Instance 2:

On a hot summer day I was at the market and I saw this little boy, about 4-5 years, walking with his beggar mother, two plastic bags tied on his dry and blistered feet in place of a sandal. I went to the boy and asked him to come with me. The begging woman followed and on the way called out to a couple of more women. I took the boy to a shoe shop right at the market and asked the shopkeeper to show me a pair of sandals in the size of the little boy. He looked at me as if I had lost it, not that I have not seen this reaction from more so-called educated and cultured people before.
"Madam, isske liye chahiye? Ye kya karega chappal ka?" (Madam, you want it for him? What will he do with these sandals?!!)
"Aap chup chaap chappal dikhaao, paise mil rahey hain na?" (You just show me the sandals and don't talk rubbish, you're getting paid, isn't it?)
The man showed me a pair and I handed him the money and gave the sandals to the little boy, who first held it in his hands and kept smiling, as if cherishing a brand new remote-control car toy, or a brand new set of designer clothes...He still couldn't believe it was his own pair. I smiled and asked him to wear them. He finally took off his 'plastic bag shoes' and wore 'real' sandals, walking around in them proudly..And gave me a huuuuge smile, one that still tears my heart.
The shopkeeper gave me that weird look, the people in the nearby shops too..
The whole episode took me about 10 minutes and cost me Rs. 60/-

Instance 3:

I usually cook a meal for the street kids once a week and take it to the signals where they beg. The moment I come out of the car with the packets, they know their food has arrived and one child calls out to another and soon there are about 10-12 kids, from babies to 10-year-olds, all waiting with big smiles for something to go in their tummy. They always give me these huge smiles and say 'thank you didi'.The adults too start coming in, but I shoo them away with a stern warning, and until the kids are done eating, I try and be there to save their food being snatched away by the grown-ups.
Many times I just stand at the signals with these kids while they are eating, and all those people who pass by look at me like I am some dirty maggot-infested if I care!!! They give me these looks, sometimes young guys hoot, but no one has ever come forward and shared anything with these little ones....
The whole episode takes me normal cooking time like I do for my family, about 15 minutes of waiting as these kids are really hungry and eat up pretty fast, and costs me a normal rate of what a home-cooked meal of vegetable rice, dal and one fruit would cost for about 10 kids.

Instance 4:

There is always a bag of biscuit packets in the car that we hand out to kids begging on the streets. And each time we do so, there are many stares from those nearby. A woman will nudge her husband and show them what we did, a couple will look at us and give us a smile....thats all...

Instance 5:

At a market me and my friend met a small boy about 5, begging and asking for food. I asked him if he wanted some food from nearby.
"Didi, vada pav khila do." (Sister, I want to have vada-pav)
"Chal, yahaan kahaan milta hai le chal." (Take me wherever its available here)
He began hopping towards food and we followed. At the stall, by now you know what we got...of course, those stares, when I asked the man to give the boy a plate of whatever he wanted. We also got him three plates packed to take away after he ate. He went away saying 'thank you didi' and we came back a tad more sad, a tad more upset that there is not much we can do.....And those men standing at the stall were still finding us funny and smiling...
The whole episode took me about 10 minutes and cost me about Rs.30/-

Instance 6:

Was having a soothing cold coffee and yummy sandwich at an open CCD. Two little boys, aged about 6, stood on the road, staring at all the food at all the tables. As I went out, they came up and said "Didi, paise mat do, khaan de do...bhook lagi hai." (Sister, don't give us money, give us something to eat, we are very hungry.)
As I was rushing out to drop someone, I asked them to wait there and said I would come back with food in a while.
"Theek hai didi, hum idhar hi rukengey...khaana laaogey na?" (Alright sister, we will wait right here. You will bring food, won't you?)
I nodded and went away, returning some time later with a bag of food packed for the little ones.
As I got out of the car, the boys came over, beaming, their hands taking the food and eating right there. The people seated at the tables looked at us and gave us those patronizing smiles, pointing me to each other, and I heard one well-dressed lady say 'Oh look, she actually came back to give food" as if it was the most amusing thing she had ever seen.
The whole episode took me about 10 minutes and cost me about Rs. 40/-

So you see....not much of a difference in reaction here from our educated and cultured friends.....nothing to write about really...But that smile on those little ones' faces and that little happiness for a few minutes that someone may someday care for them too..that's precious...believe me....

And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

I care for the countless little ones out there...Do you?

am too busy to care, but want to do something. Jaago Re and are helping me do my bit for the society.