Naked


Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the city, she stood still as time froze around her. She had her eyes fixated onto one entity afar that she forgot she was surrounded by plenty. Her mind was in a state of limbo and was floating with the flow of her thoughts.

Unguarded, she started to strip in the middle of the crowded street. Everyone who passed by would stop to watch her while they passed by her. Some even stopped their conversations and looked straight at her. A few others took their smart devices out to capture what they were witnessing. Another group called out to more people and brought their attention to her. Whispers, scribbling papers, flashes of light, nothing diverted her eyes from what it was focused on.

Naked in front of the world, she was lost and her eyes didn’t feel ashamed looking at people staring at her, neither did her ears get numb with the sound of the chattering crowd. Astonished as they were, the crowd started to disperse after enjoying the short span of free entertainment. The chattering sounds stopped, the lights stopped flashing, scribbling of papers died and the eyes stopped rolling while she made no movement. She was forgotten in a few hours and the world had moved on.

Hours later she smiled as tears started pouring from her eyes. She felt light-hearted, happiness filled her mind which now was at peace. She was clean of her guilt, suffering, embarrassment, sorrow and misery. It took her years to come in terms with the wild heart she kept caged inside of her. She now learnt that it was easier to be her real self and set herself loose than be trapped in a cage for a world that never saw anything beyond her flaws.

Advertisements

Virtue


Life in Mumbai is not easy they say. She never agreed to them. Here is why she feels the opposite.

               Walking through the city streets every day from morning to night, she was accustomed to be thrown out of places, spit on by strangers and heard abuses when she went close to them. It did not matter to her how ill-mannered people were. She considered it a part of the life she was living. Her life purpose was to reach out her hand and earn. To her, hard work meant putting up with the forces of the human race that pushed her down and stand strong without letting her determination to live, die within her. She did not have to worry about shelter, as the almighty would look after that necessity of hers. She wanted to feed and protect herself and the little one she dragged with her everywhere she went.

She found happiness in watching the stars at night, feeling the heat of the sun on her palms, watching people smile and munching fresh food. Her hunger to live nurtured her to be unspoilt and humble. She only took what she needed and gave all that she had in serving the ones who looked up to her. When she watched young girls pass by with books and school bags, she would sit on the road and use a small piece of white cement block to write letters and read them loud. She loved the attention she got from different people who appreciated her with some food and goodies. She would impress them with her dance moves and her sweet voice. Her sister banged an old steel plate with hands to make music. Very few paid attention to her happiness. Not many knew what this young child goes through every day.

She is considered a dirt, that filths the nation. Yet she loved her country and her people. She would sell tiny flags on Independence Day and pin one onto her half-torn clothes. She would peep through the holes of a school compound and watch the flag hoisting. She knew the anthem and proudly sang it with pride. Her own people never accepted her yet she loved them so much.

Why did it not bother her that nobody cared when she fell ill and threw her to the dogs when she came for water? What is that about the city that still kept her to her feet?

               It has only been 6 years since she has been in this world and yet she has a wisdom that even a learned cannot have. It is simple she says. If every time in life you are only going to see the dark, you will always remain in the dark. When a candle is lit in a dark room, no matter how small the flame is, it brightens every corner of the room. That is why she does not cry over all the times people have trampled over her. She instead remembers all those who came to her rescue during her desperation.

As she walked pass a few cars, begging for coins, one shiny car opened their door and gave her a plastic bag filled with some new clothes. It was Diwali, a time for new clothes to flaunt. She grabbed the bag and ran across the road and took out each item one after the other and examined them. She was choosy and found one that she liked the most. She kept back rest of the clothes, handed the bag to one of the elders and said, “Tai ye hum kal subah meri baaki saheliyon ko baatengey. Kripyiya isse surakshit jagah pey rakhna.” (Translation: “Sister, please keep this bag safe with you. Tomorrow morning we shall distribute these clothes to my friends.”)

If only we can learn something from her. She might look poverty-stricken. Yet her heart is richer than ours is.