Read the poems at your leisure

Buy the e-book version of the best of my poetry from on the following link and read the poetry you like, whenever you want.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Where is the Cradle,Mom?

This post is dedicated to all the child/infant/teenager kids on the street/trains/subways.

On my way to office, I take the metro rail. On this fine sunny day, the train was not as crowded as it usually is. I was glad i could find a seat. A couple of stops later, a family got in the train. A mom, and her 3 kids. Cute little things. One had a woolen hat on her head with a long rope coming out, another had a hoopla in her hand and one had a aluminum plate and a running nose.

They walked around the coach frolicking around, looked around and decided on a good spot and started performing..

The girl with the hoopla, passed the hoop through her thin body, moving it from her head and pulling it out of her legs,
the one with the woolen hat, started dancing, or rather tried to dance as only a 5-6 yrs can, and the boy started doing somersaults, all the while the mother was beating the tin plate with a stick to give a background music.
After their performance was over, they went over to the seated people(it wasn't a rush hour, so the train was reasonable filled up), with their hands outstretched and a pleading look in their eyes.

This made me feel so damn sad, to look at those young kids, begging at such a age, with the encouragement of their mother, their innocence being put to use to make money. I don't think they realized what they were being made to do, their only understanding would have been that it was what was asked of them by their mother.

Begging for oneself is one thing, but being asked to beg especially by such young souls is altogether a different thing. At an age when they should have all the love and affection and be carefree about the vagaries of the world, they were thrown headfirst into the fight for their survival.

At such times one may wonder, where has the childhood gone for these kids? Where is the cradle in which they would feel safe, where is the hand that rocks the cradle to make the kids go to sleep, and not to break it.

These scenarios bring sharply into my mind , the dialogues and the scenes from the movie "Traffic Signal", which portrays that even begging is an art and a fledging business. A business conducted on traffic signals, roadsides and on trains, where the beggars are the puppets and the puppeteer is hiding somewhere else. After the movie I have noticed a considerable change in the attitude of the people towards beggars. They are most hesitant to think of them as a beggar and more as a crook out to rob them. But if that crook happens to be a young kid with outstretched arms and big innocent eyes, one had to have a hard heart not to give in.

Where are these children's rights to live? Right to education, right to eat, right to play? Are these rights a commodity too? One can have enough and the other cannot? Is this the way we should treat our future generations? Is this the life we envisage for our successors?

Perhaps the time for the cradle is gone, and a person fights for his/her existence the second he/she is born. Perhaps the cradle has been broken....