“God why do you put me through this? Why do you make me suffer like this? I pray to you for a better life and all I get is silence, why God why?”
Does this plead sound familiar? Have you atleast once in your life time looked upwards and cursed your destiny? I do this very often and mostly because I can’t afford to go toFloridato vacation at Disneyland or I can’t fly toHawaiifor a sun soaked beach experience or why I can’t have an I-Pad 2 instead of the functioning I-Pad I already possess. I dream of a life out of movies. A lovely home, a beautiful family and loads of money to throw around. Sometimes I dream of a Sex and the City lifestyle, sometimes I see theEmpireStateBuildingand yearn to live as a big publisher or PR agent inNew York. But alas, I am a mere downtown girl from the less known city ofIndia, stuck in the most unglamorous job. Hence, the above prayer was not new to me.
In my regular Monday blues, as I drove down to my work place I was met by the Big Red light. I was standing still behind a water tanker, which as usual was leaking and leaving traces of water. A small girl about the age of 2 or 3 years, whose parents had made the KP footpath their home, picked up a stainless steel glass and gestured an action of filling the glass with the overflowing water and then pouring it out in a make believe beaker. I smiled at the child’s innocence, amazed at her enacting what she might have seen her mother do day in and out. But what I saw next not only brought tears to my eyes but also made me want to get out of the car and just take the child away from there. The kid in her playful nature stepped on something; I just saw her face change from a smile to a disgusting expression. I followed her gaze to the footpath where she had stepped on something. On close scrutiny I realized that she had stepped on her own shit. She rubbed her bare leg against the clean side of the footpath and then suddenly she bent with the glass clenched tight in her hand. Before I could scream out to ask her to stop, she already put the glass on the crap and scooped it into the glass. The feeling of how simple was life from the eyes of a child, was replaced by disgust and depression. I wanted to roll down my window and scream at her to drop the glass but my brains failed to signal any action to my body. I saw the water tanker move ahead and heard the cars honking from behind. I put my car in motion and with tear filled eyes moved on to work.
Was I still depressed? Yes but not cause it was Monday, but because how neglected and deprived the kid was. Was I still sad about not being able to spend money? Yes, but not cause I could not afford Charles and Keith shoes or a Mango dress, but because I failed to spend on things that matter. On how I can instead buy a piece of clothing less and ensure that kids like her have something to wear, to eat or if I am being a little too overwhelmed here to say: be given to an NGO that can assure a good life for them. I of all the people understand the importance of a blessing. I have seen how a small gesture as giving a child the right direction can change the course of their lives. And yet I fail to do anything for that cause. I may have drifted off from what I really want to do and thus miserable at what I do. Maybe if my earnings can put a smile and better someone’s life- it will make the earning and working worth the sweating.
I take this opportunity to plead you to sacrifice one night out or great dinner or expensive shopping and give that to someone who really needs it. Make a difference and see how happy it may make you. Whenever I crib of not being able to fulfill my vain dreams- I will recall this child who was happy even amidst the shit the world had to offer. And if you can’t find a wake up moment of your own yet, you can borrow mine for now. But I beg you to WAKE UP!!!