Another India

Inbetween the Hondas, the Toyotas, The American Expresses, The Tanishqs the Diors lies another India. And i came face to face with it today. Right on Residency road. Four kids performing on one of Bangalore’s busiest roads in peak early morning traffic. The lights had turned red. The cars came to a stand still.

And the performance started. Sitting inside the insulated confines of the car, i watched with awe as the kids rolled & tumbled alongside tyres and footwear. Extricating themselves through steel hoopla’s and simple acrobatic steps that could do a Nadia proud. I wondered when they would be able to do the same trick to their lives. If they ever managed to do it.

In the space of the 120 seconds the traffic stops, they complete their act and start knocking on the doors, arms, windows, of all that are there. The kid saw me use my phone to click the snap and came right upto my window. He knocked on the window as i struggled to reach my wallet, all the while, looking at his face.

A fair face. Painted with moustaches and false eyebrows. He could have been a kid going to a fancy dress competition in a fancy school. ‘Could have been’. I guess within those words, lies the gap between Earth and Sky.

A cornucopia of images of all the children i shower with goodies came to me. In that very instance, i took out a big note and placed it in the hands of the kid. He seemed perplexed for a while. Perhaps not knowing what the big note was doing in his hand.

I hoped he would have an ice cream. A chocolate. Food. A toy. Whatever. Whatever that could keep the child in him alive for some more time.

The lights turned green. Three more kids came running. The honks behind me grew louder. I released the clutch, and the car moved. I looked in the rear view mirror as to the small commotion that the big note had created in the hands of the small kid. I didn’t know if i did right. Or if i did wrong.

Ten minutes later i parked. Alighting from the car, i noticed the kid’s fingerprints on the window. They were small. And perhaps tender. Perhaps. I am not sure what the asphalted road and all the rubbers of the world did to those hands.

The hands of an India. Another India.

9 thoughts on “Another India

  1. Kavi,

    I am speechless. I would not have given the kid a big note. I appreciate your intention. But I honestly feel it would have encouraged him and many more kids to start doing this as a part time. I did not like the idea of them doing this in utter traffic and risking their tender lives. I would suggest you to meet those kids if possible and have a talk to them and probably if they are studying help them in getting books or other stuff rather than giving a big note. Once I caught hold of a boy who was selling Tirukural book in local electric train at Chennai, and bought a book and later asked whether he knows any one thirukural. He said ‘no’ and read him one and explained him the meaning. He was excited ” Ivalo iruka sir…ithula..” I could feel pity for him. Where are we heading to. Your post has kindled my thoughts. I can understand your good thoughts. But was it the right way Kavi?

  2. Jeevan says:

    It’s too much hard for them to continue their life in-between vehicles!
    We won’t think its right or wrong if our mind decided to help them at that movement. Its another side of India that should be changed.

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog and please do stop by again.Another India indeed.I think it was nice that you gave the child a note.sometimes its hard not to especially when you see all the trouble the child has gone thru to earn that money, he was not begging.I think for that reason he should be rewarded.Thanks for sharing.

  4. pria says:

    Kavi: When we talk of child labor, we only think its the adults who compel them for the survival. Its not coz the kids take in hand to lead the life of what they see or have to.

    Yes/No. Well, yes can be for the survival of the day with happy face.
    No- Kids need to go to school and I personally never encourage in giving money, as it only motivates them to go for more.

  5. there is a different country within one everywhere we go…but its heartbreaking to see the ones that should be in school struggle for someone else who doesnt deserve it.If it was a sick parent, the god bless the child for working his was through a creul society, but if its a syndicate…then we can only pray harder for the child to be released…

  6. manuscrypts says:

    i’ve always looked away, some tangential process as explained by balaji above, which i’ve never discussed internally about either.. reminded me of this –

  7. Shiva says:

    That was a wonderful gesture. It’s an irony that, one half of our society guzzles aerated beverages,
    while the other half has to make to with Palmfuls of muddied water.

    “Alighting from the car, i noticed the kid’s fingerprints on the window. They were small. And perhaps tender. Perhaps. I am not sure what the asphalted road and all the rubbers of the world did to those hands” – A divine thought. If every politician in India, has a speck of this thought, all this misery can be eradicated.

  8. Apun Ka Desh says:


    Who is responsible?

    Govt. which plans on spending Rs 16000 crores on reservations in higher education?


    Govt. which has levied a additional 1% ces this year ostensibly for education, while more than half of the edu cess collected last year lies unused.

  9. Kavi says:

    Blaji: I agree ! The magic of the moment and intense feeling running trhough me made me do something that i dont usually do..! Hats off to your thoughts on educating him on the kural ! We miss people like you back here. But there is a quiet resolve to do something like that you are an inspiration. Will keep this space updated!

    jeevan: Yes, this is another side of India which needs to be worked on !!

    Starry Nights: yes ! Thats the pattern which my mind was working on i guess !!

    Priya: Yes, they need to go to school, to enjoy the joys that childhood holds out for be a child is a dream for some !

    GP: yes mate. every country has another within itself. How different and how ironic !

    Manu: Your post was powerful! The race of life is indeed long !

    Shiva: Our politicians can do all acrobatics inside parliament. nothing for the kids on the streets

    AKD; First, welcome here. I quite like your title. And you ask very relevant questions. Would you have answers…!!

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