Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Prisoners of Birth

When the climate turned pleasant, I took to drinking my morning protein X sitting on the stairs in the balcony gawking shamelessly around me. That fine day, I was greeted by a sight of my darling tulasi plant and a group of bulbuls on the tree in the left of the park. Then I noticed the old lady in the opposite line, in the house nearest to the park worshiping her Tulsi plant. I saw children go for their morning walks, girls with blue and pink t shirts. The always smiling uncle (brother is nearer age wise) was cleaning his car and the boy in the opposite  right lower house was wiping the courtyard clean.

Have I told you about this boy? Do you remember the post on compassion where I told about the MLA lady and her son? Well I don't know if they are MLAs but they are politically connected. Anyhow there is this boy in their house around 10- 12 maybe. I see him at various time doing chores. I do not support child labor but after coming here I have realized that it is quite the norm and nonchalant as it sounds, I cannot do anything about it. My maid was 17-18 when she joined me and I think that too is not much. I have always wondered about him and I look at him shamelessly too. He knows that I am interested in him and sometimes he smiles shyly but never looking at me.

Do you wonder why I don't report this to anyone? Because, I think he may be better off here. I do not know his history and he does not look abused. He looks confident and diligent. His clothes look as if they were bought for him though of course not of the quality their son wears. I wonder if his family benefits by him being here. I wonder if that's why they sent him here. Maybe they were destitute. Happens you know. It happens here.Sometimes; I do wonder whether he might be doing all the work in the house as I have not seen a maid ever enter the home. Or maybe she comes later on. He keeps the trash out, runs and opens the door whenever any family member comes, is the playmate for the son and seems always ready but I have never seen him being treated in a bad way at least from outside.

I see the way he is being groomed. In 15- 20 years I see him as being the right hand man of the son who might be around 3-4 years younger to him. The son might go to politics too. I wonder how this boy feels about his situation. I wondered aloud to my hubby whether this boy compared himself with the son after all both were almost the same age. Would he have asked god, 'Why was I born in my family and not his (son's)'.My hubby consoled me sighing, "We are all Prisoners of Birth" True. We are. Children, I guess, accept it faster than adults.

But one day the difference was too stark for me to forget. I had taken a half day leave and was waving hubby from the balcony. Suddenly a mini school van screeched in the place in front of my house. Before it registered in my mind, the boy had come running outside to the door of the van. The son was sitting in the front sea with the driver (clearly a seat of high importance. It was always empty for him). He jumped out with his bag. The boy took the bag from him the very next moment and the son strutted towards his home with the boy lugging his bag behind him. Never have I seen such differences in the same frame. This boy too should be going to school. This boy too should be getting an education. But unless I can take responsibility for him all I can do is sigh and thank god for our own fortune and hope someday I may be of better use.

Prisoners of Birth...I guess we all are.


  1. Prisoners of birth, very thought provoking phrase and very true too...

    1. It is, is it not. It's a book by Jeffery Archer actually. A good book.

    2. will try to get hold of it for a read :)


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