In a 9.52 a.m. CST train from Andheri, I encountered the worst incidence of human in-sensitiveness!! (experienced so far!)
When I got in the train around 9.45, a 5yr old child beggar came begging for money. But when she saw a mother feeding biscuit & water to her little one, she begged for water. I had a small bottle of water which I decided to give her. She had a steel glass in which she had kept all the coins that she collected. I took out the coins and pour some orange juice from my bottle in it…she drank it in one sip!! :-)
In less than couple of minutes, when I looked behind I saw that the entire coach had 8-10 child beggars…the youngest being just 2yrs old and the eldest was around 8-9yrs.
I was sitting on the 3rd seat and just before the train started, an old lady (around 60yrs) with her two daughters (must be in their middle or late 20s) came & sat on the 4th seat right across me.
Initially I overhead the daughter saying – Because of these shabby kids, my dress will get dirty! I chose not to react, thinking that she is ignorant! However, when a small girl from the beggars group wanted to pass from where the mother and daughter were sitting, the old woman not only behaved rudely & denied but used a very derogatory term for the child…she called her & others as ‘गलिच्छ ‘…Which means the one who are born in the shit.
I just completely lost my temper, I asked her what is her problem and why she cannot let the child go…to which she said its inconvenience to her and her daughter and added saying if I am so sensitive, why don’t I sit at her place.
I readily agreed and swapped placed with her. Her daughter asked me ‘Why do you have to talk on their behalf?’… I said because I understand why God has given me the life I am living and that finding a comfortable place to sit in a train or wearing a clean dress is not the ultimate aim of my life!!
I am on a journey to make myself & the world around me a child friendly & sensitive place. But when I saw the disgrace shown by a 60yr old who failed to understand the plight of a 7yr old and who also failed to understand that it could have been her grand-daughter in that Child’s place…my heart was shattered !
I was into tears…asking myself, HOW, HOW is it going to happen? HOW AM I GOING TO MAKE THE WORLD AROUND ME A MORE SENSITIVE PLACE? HOW DID WE BECOME SO INSENSITIVE? HOW DID MONEY & OTHER MATERIAL POSSESSION BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN HUMAN EMOTIONS? WHY IS THERE SO MUCH OF AN ARROGANCE AND EGO & NO PLACE FOR LOVE & COMPASSION?
But within few minutes, I knew what I had to do! I called up 1098 and informed the outreach staff that the children got down at Santacruz station. I decided to immerse myself in the book, to not let my spirits get more affected by the negative incidence.
When I got up to get down at Vadala, I overheard a 10yr old boy who was witness to the incident, saying to her mother ‘This did is very nice, she did right. She knows everything!’
I smiled and replied – When you grow up, even you will know everything!
But I knew at that moment that this 10yr old boy knew more than the old woman…he knew the answers to my question!
There is hope!!!