Dairy 2006

21 September 2009 वेळ: Monday, September 21, 2009
Came across my 2006 Dairy!
Putting down a few extracts.

Just happened to read the book "The great Indian dream". I was badly shaken to know that 30 million of my brothers sleep with a hungry stomach. Today in the the 20th century, though we have enough of funds, yet the corrupt leaders don't let them reach the needy. India ranks 124th in the human development index. I was shaken to acknowledge these facts.

I decided to visit the slum area of parvati today. Called up Mihir. We both were expecting to see some children. I'd decided to carry on a small chat with them. We approached two children flying their kite's. They were reluctant to let us know their name. It was no use making them talk. Soon the kids were accompanied by a few more friends. I stayed there with a small excuse......I wanted to see them fly the kite (I know it sounds lame......that was the only thing i could fire 3 years back). Soon I got introduced to all of them. These are a few observations I made.

Firstly the reluctant child I met was Rishikesh. Rishikesh was in class 2. As we both approached Rishikesh, his nosy granny gave us a weired look. She must be thinking we were there just to tease him and make fun of him, but as we took a friendly stance, she relaxed. A sweet girl sitting next to Rishikesh was Ankita. Ankita was also of the same age. She was good at the talking work! She told us more about Rishikesh and their friends. By then another face popped in - Mayur. They all had meaningful names and the most suitable ones. Soon Mangesh, Ram, Shyam also joined us. While describing these kids. I'd make it a point to tell you that these kids were neat and tidy. Do not misunderstand them as filthy and shabbily dressed up kids.

Mangesh was in class 7th, Shyam in class 8th and Ram was studying in class 10th. Ram was pretty friendly and we could easily catch up with his frequency. He told us about his various activities like - fishing at the canal, his hang outs around parvati. In a very short time I named him the Mr. Smart! He was good at history, yes it was his favourite subject.

As we were getting along, Rishikesh's nosy granny left us alone. In the meanwhile a lady came up from the maze. and threw a polythene bag full of waste. It landed a few steps near to us. 2 Elders joined the kite flying. They must be around 24-26. Not to mention they spoke the extreme foul version of marathi. A peculiar foul languages heard while passing a slum. Ram tipped us with their name - Babu and Yogesh.

Yogesh just disappeared for a while, and was back with "goodies" wrapped in a piece of paper and a polythene bag. As he came near " आणले बघ, वटने आहेत" he said while gasping for air. Immediately Babu ordered "जा कुठे ग्लास मिळतात का बघ, आणि उरलेले पैसे परत कर ४० असले पायजे बघ" They both left. I could make out it must be their booze time. Ram confirmed it.

As we were walking our way up to parvati, I made a few observations about Ram. He was a simple and a hard working boy. He had great faith in God. I was seeing that i keep my talks limited to a friend-to-friend relationship. He's invited me tomorrow.

On asking him about education, "शिकता येइल तितका शिकायच" I tried to inculcate a positive thought towards it. I think I can build up faith within. Once an image is made up, its east to help others out.


We reached there a bit late. Ram wasn't present there. As I enquired about him, a kid agreed to show me his home. Soon I was walking the narrow lanes of the Maze. I wonder how perfectly the distance between the 2 houses is maintained just to let 2 persons to pass at a time. While passing by the lanes of the maze, I was collecting strange looks for my vault. Then a little girl enquires, "काय रे तुमच्यात रोज-रोज कोण येता रे?"
The kid replied,"ते आमच्यात नाय काय, ते त्या राम ला भेटाया आल्येत"

We had reached the kartikswami temple from the other way. As we sat on the compound wall of the temple, we could take a view of the plastic bags scattered around. The open air toilets were spreading their essence around. Still the children dwelling in the slums took the space as their own playground.

There's a well a few meters ahead. In the old day's Peshwa's fetched water from the well, its got a green film over it now, garnished with 2 or 3 plastic bottles. The historical well is converted into a dumping pit. Ram informed us about the 3 spirits dwelling in the well. On going closer to the well, the spirits pull you in the well. Ram also added that, he'd seen them dancing over the well once.

After a period of casual talk, I suddenly asked Ram - "How about getting this area cleaned? I'll get some friends." for a while no one replied. I pressed him down, "Wouldn't anyone love to stay in a clean and hygienic place?" After a while he answered , "They'll keep messing it again and again." After insisting he ended up giving up some negative gestures, trying to avoid the topic.

I shifted to his favourite subjects. He says he loves History and English. Once again I offered him to help him in his subjects. I asked him about the school library. He told us the school library was under construction. It will be available after paying Rs. 25. He was even more than happy when I offered him some small storybooks. He promised to read them in his free time only. He exchanged these books with his fishing locations at the canal.

That day the elder lads were hanging around. they were having a serious talk between them. I could recognise Babu and Yogesh amongst them. As the saw me, Babu showed the decency to invite me over there. They all value friendship even more than other relations. Many a times, they hang up there till 2200 hours. at such cases when they return back home, they check for food. most of the time the hold a fast at night.

I made a new friends namely Rahul and Ganesh. On our way up to parvati temple, I found out that Rahul was the man of his own principles. He had his own morals. He was a drop out since class 3. He used to work with a workshop, but due to some blunders worked out by his insane friends, he lost his job. Now he's having a seasonal flower selling shop and a newspaper stall.

Ganesh spoke very little. He was conservative regarding words.

Gradually I got to know a Ram and Rahul even better. The children out there loved reading the folk tales. At least they amused themselves watching the beautiful pictures on every page. It felt great to hear Ram seeking admission for junior college.

Still once in a while Ram taps my shoulder, and stops by to have a word :)

1 Responses to Dairy 2006

  1. सौरभ Says:

    मस्त, सुंदर, अप्रतिम... मनाला भिडणारा अनुभव आहे. अत्यंत तुच्छ दिसणाऱ्या वसाहतींमधे खुप चांगली माणसं असतात आणि आपण त्यांना क्षुद्र समजून हाडहाड करतो. फारच भारी आकाश... gr8 माणूस आहेस तू.
    but wht u feel whn u compare this experience with the othr1 "Ek baat bolu, bura to nahi manoge?" vala...??? (probably thr is nthin common in them on basis of which u can compare... but still...)

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