“Get the dirt evenly together! The floor should be spic and span”, said the canteen’s owner. He was absurdly giving a look of accordance. His dark eyes dilated rapidly that was filled with apathy and unawareness. I saw him with a feeling of empathy. Unyielding and complying his master’s words, he was cleaning the filthy floor filled with leftover food. I happened to be curious and didn’t take more than a second to approach him. As I raced towards him, I patted his shoulders. He turned to have a look at me giving me a confused look.
I asked, “What’s your name?”
He exclaimed, “Hmm? My name? Malina.”
“Malina, how are you doing?”
His lips pressed tightly and his eyes sharpened towards me. All I could sense was a pin drop silence, expressing the irrelevance of such a question.
“Would you like to sit with me?” I asked.
He said,“I’m working now.”
I assured, “I will back you up, come have some tea with me.”
With petrified eyes, he complied with my proposal. I felt really happy as he was happily devouring on the tea and biscuits.
Malina was a young boy who was forced to be the breadwinner like the countless young children we happen to see in various parts of our planet. He wore a black tee-shirt that looked ragged. He was so young that while sitting on the chair, his feet hardly touched the ground. He literally had to take the effort to jump to reach the ground. His face and his right arm had a scar that was evident enough to send quiver for anyone. Such was the intensity of the sufferings that was imposed on such a young soul.
As he was busy munching on the cookies, I asked him, “Would you like to go to school and study?”
He looked at me with scepticism, and said,” No I don’t want to go to school.”
I wasn’t surprised by his answer, as he wouldn’t have been encircled with friends who go to school. I tried to persuade him saying his schooling would be free of cost. You just need to go to school and learn. But his answers remained stubborn and wouldn’t budge. What cajoled me was his vision – to earn, keep his family safe. He had a maturity which was above his required age. His mind was flooded with questions. He was keen on earning money, for himself and his family. At an age where he should have been doing the math counting number of apples and mangoes, there he was cleaning the floor, taking breakfast orders and counting money.
His early morning tasks started from sweeping the floor, one hand with a bucket full of water and the other with a huge wiper almost double his height. He struggled with each step almost tripping on his own legs as he swept the floor. With an overgrown belly, he ran helter-skelter balancing plates one over the other. A used towel would always hang over his shoulders. Malina stays at the same place where he works. He gets into his work day and night so much that he learns cutting vegetables by getting bruises and cuts of the sharp knives. His universe begins on a stone walled bed, progresses by selling tea, walking down 10 floors, cutting vegetables, serving dishes to all the employees, taking care of the hotel and ends on the same bed totally disconnected with the world outside him. He should have been in a utopia – Getting up early morning with pecks of love from his dear ones, going to school with a bag pack of books and cherishing palatable homemade food. His day should end with a splurge of knowledge and playing games which inclined him. Flexing his muscles and enjoying the game with his longest breath.
Today, Malina is devoid of the things which should be a part of his life. Take his example like a grain of salt because there are many more suffering in the most pernicious conditions of life which they might be enduring just for the sake of money. Some are coerced to work, while some have no other option for survival which they learn at a very tender age. Totally agree that because of the infinite scalawags these children are been coerced to work for some pennies. We will annihilate such people from our society. But what after that? Do these children have any future of their own? They hardly will be able to survive for most of them are orphans. But we educated youngsters with heterodox thoughts can be the change. There are so many non-governmental organizations that invest in time, money and efforts just to make a difference to this world in grief, making this cruel world a better place to live in. And this change will not take place in a blink of an eye. With immense knowledge bestowed upon us by our pedagogues, we can come together to create the change. Because the people who bring about change are not the ones who have totally invested their entire time in this noble cause of humanity. In fact, they are the young blood guided by the experienced for who are aware of their vocation. Engineers, doctors, artists, photographers with diverse cultures united by a unique mission. Be a part of it! Why be a part of it?
We always try to make our life better from the day before. We work harder, learn from our mistakes, our experiences shadowing each step. Apart from this mundane life, get out someday and help a person who really needs some help, spend some time with a person who has lost everything, have a conversation with a stranger, explore and map the far-flung places. Stop counting your life and start living it. Live each day as if it was your best day ever.
And most of all, remember this,
“When you were born you cried
And the world rejoiced.
Live your life such that,
When you die the world cries
And you rejoice.”
Let’s be a part of such groups to make a difference and let your efforts be directed. I hope you have a similar story as well to share. Share your views in the comment box below.