Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Interesting" People

Sometimes, you become a part of a conversation you so want to avoid. You look here and there, feel so damn awkward and embarrassed, even angry sometimes; but you cannot escape. Such a thing happened with me too today.

I have taken part in an intra college competition. I am a part of a team of four. We have been given a case study and have to prepare our case on the basis of that case study. My group has two juniors and one peer. We are expected to take the lead and guide them (ah!). Now, my law school is going to host a national moot court competition. For that purpose a few more juniors came where we were preparing for our case.

Now, these juniors had a few posters made by them. They were to stick them on the wall so that people could have a look at them. The theme was global warming. And I must say, they had done a brilliant job with the paint brush. One junior started the topic of marriage. She was shocked to know that I was married for almost six years and my friend was married for 2 years. The bigger shocker came when she said that I looked more interesting and the other one boring! I don't know why she said so, what made her believe so and why she had to be so upfront about it! I didn't know where to look! Ah, Girls!!

Now, the above stanzas were typed last night. I didn't feel like editing them. The update is that we didn't win the competition (that's ok), though we did a brilliant job even though we had not prepared for it much.

I have been crazy busy. But the irony is that the output is less compare to the time I have been giving to a particular assignment. I have been visiting a Government office as one of our important documents is with them. I have been spending the whole day out there, waiting for the officer to oblige me with some calculation so that I pay the fine and get my document released. Yesterday while doing so, I spotted a boy doing shoe polish for 5 Rs. 

While he was doing "his work", I was talking to him. He stays in slums, has 6 siblings and no money to even eat a full meal twice a day. This shoe polishing at least gives him enough money to buy a vada paav for his siblings. I know it is a story of many people around me, who lead such a life. I have spoken with them, I try to do whatever I can for them, but still the number of such kids is not ready to come down. Each day I spot at least 2-3 children doing some or the other kind of labour at the time when they are supposed to be in school. only because they do not have money to study. Labour will at least provide them regular meals. Will we ever be doing anything about it to stop this in any way and at any point? This question always haunts me!

And I know the answer too!

Too much of ranting and serious discussions scare me sometimes. Here is another picture I clicked in the auto I was travelling by.

Interesting indeed! :)


  1. i understand your question. That makes me wonder too. It is wrong to make children work. But, if we cannot better their lives in any way, is it fair to make them stop their work? I actually do not have the answer to that!

  2. Thats a tough question Neha. That boy has not chosen that profession by choice; if given a chance he would want to have a better life. But how?

  3. This is a question that baffles most of us. We want to do something but don't know how to go about it. If we know how to go about it, then there are a hundred hassles involved...As I read this post I remembered a story Karthik had posted on his blog, about a little boy who worked at a dosa-restaurant, remember?

  4. yeah DC, I remember that story very was at the time of BPL..

  5. Now a days many people are like that junior girl who express their opinion without bothering about the effect it might have on the person they are speaking to.
    This moot court competition sounds interesting ,i am curious to know what it is all about . Will check the link after i post this comment
    These pictures of boot polish guy speak a lot Neha !There is very less hope of a better life for kids like him in our country .

    You always meet interesting autowallahas...this particular one is very wise .I believe in what his slogan says :)

  6. This world is full of interesting people. I have a strong view that child labor should be abolished. They should be proivded with a better alternative.

  7. The more we see the world around us, the more questions we have. Yardsticks and priorities differ for different people.

  8. That is so sad, my 'interesting' friend. Seriously, so many children lose their childhood living in poverty. All the same, I sometimes wonder, if there is such a thing as 'karma' and if we are actually paying for whatever wrong we have done earlier?! Is that the cause of our troubles? Or am I just crazy. Either way... nighty night :-)

  9. Its ages since I've last been here...
    Firstly good to know you've been crazy busy. I believe its always better to be busy than being idle and bored.
    Tuff luck regarding the competition, at least your junior got to meet an interesting person! :P

    Child labor has always been a problem that is talked about, but very less is done... The fact that he has 6 siblings itself explains everything. Our exploding population is the root of all social evils.

    I just noticed that you have a label named 'vellagiri'. I'm gonna label my next post the same.

  10. I had written some time back on child labor in India.The situation can change with only an improvement in living standards.Like other vices people engage in for making a living, thisis not easy to readicate.

    I loved the logo on the auto.This is something unique to us I think.I have seen similar logos on Punjabi lorries.

  11. That little boy will make it big one day. He is doing the work with passion. Nice pictures.

  12. I dont know the answer to that question too. If we say stop child labor... we should also be able to say we will provide them with better facilities. Sometimes if the kid doesnt do such jobs the family will have nothing to eat. I had this convo with a kid who works for Idli bandi. He said, "Akka (sister) if I dont work my family will starve. I will go to school but what about my family". Till date I dont have an answer to that question.

    The autowala is very right :).

  13. Beautiful one.. This question baffles all of us.

    Slogan is cute and very true..

  14. buddy u care for others..u r keep the cheers..:) v r with u...

  15. It is a shame that little children have to work the way they do for a meal a day.Instead of feeling sorry about them, should we be not questioning the very existence of Govt. which has not been able to provide the basics for the poor who live with under Rs 20/day.
    Had the food grains not been allowed to rot, this kid would have been in school instead of polishing shoes.

  16. she said that to you.. lol!!! :) :) anyway its good to be liked by people :)

    for child labor, free education won't push kids to school and there is not much awareness about the education among many. But there is no point in studying if we can't have good food... all we do is for survival... I hope this boy learns some business and make it big with the experience he gets now..

  17. that was very nice of you... to talk with the boy and know his story ... but the question still persists ...
    interesting quote :)

  18. Interesting post. I too want to know why your junior made such a remark.

    You come across many such children selling little-big things at traffic lights. I try to buy something from them, but what seeing the increasing number of beggars makes you wonder! They are fit and fine but will not work!

    Nice slogan there though.

  19. interesting article.
    pics are excellent,this is our shining India.

  20. Interesting people are every where and we indians have a rich heritage of interesting people wandering on our streets, railways, airports and parliament too:-p and All the best for the competition...

  21. Interesting people you met, indeed!! Oops that would had been a 'in a fix' situation with that girl! :P
    Ah! That's a million dollar question! At least he is earning his livelihood in a decent way and not by begging et al!
    Nice pics!

  22. Interesting post! The question you raised about enough being done to stop child labour is very pertinent.

    Its not just the question of not having enough funds to study, Neha. In our country as you know education is free and compulsory to all. The saddening part I feel is that poverty is so gravely and deeply spread that even these little children are ready to forgo education and opt to work to earn money. I wish they realize how powerful their right to education can make them.

  23. At least some of them are willing to work and earn some money.

  24. I know no matter how much we want to bring that number down it'll still be the same or increase :( because we also have limited means to support these kids !! Pretty sad but that's how it is right now !

    Oops for not winning the competition :|

    Finally the post ends with pyar hi zindagi hai....pyar bat.te chalo :)