The Day I Found That Lonely Child On The Street, I Lost All Hope In The People Of This Country

Shubham Shrivastava Shubham Shrivastava in Bakkar. Chai. Sutta on 26 November, 2018

*crying sounds*

I heard someone crying and yelling out loud, I quickly turned back to see who it was.

I realized it was a small kid of around 5-6 years, it was he who got my attention and made me inquisitive. A little dark blue silk towel, tied up to his waist, just like a 'lungi', he had no slippers or shoes on his feet. He had a chequered shirt on that looked dirty because of mud and dust, and surely it had not been washed properly, or the child had been playing at a muddy site where some construction was going on.

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He cried and just cried. I could still hear his loud yell, they refuse to leave my mind to date, this picture of him reflects again and again in my memory.

For a moment I thought of following him just to see where he was going and was there someone following him or taking care of him. I just wished and prayed that there was someone with him. But no one was accompanying him.

"Hey hi! How are you? May I know if you've ever felt so lost, lonely, isolated, sad, depressed as if you are losing all hope of recovery and you have been fighting hard but not getting any results, just ending up nowhere. And all of a sudden, all your problems start to seem too big and uncontrollable. Have you.? Have you ever felt that never-ending pain? Has it ever happened that you wish to say something, tell something, to express something, you are trying hard, but are unable to?" Yes, that happened to me.

I could not control myself and I walked up to this child, just to ask him and know why he was crying and what had happened. I just thought if he was lost, then where he was going to stay, how he'd spend the night in the cold weather and dark night. 

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Cold dark nights in Delhi are too dangerous. There is always a consistent fear of getting lost in between this wild crowd. There is a consistent fear of being picked up and sold off, to some smugglers or some "hospitals" that run for the charity of this society, the ones who provide body parts - like kidney, eyes, heart, and liver at low prices to the buyer, but the seller has to pay a lot for that, sometimes they even give away their lives.

Well, this one foot tall, weirdly dressed up boy, with unkempt hair and dirty clothes - he knew nothing, not even his way back home. He was lost. What about his parents? Have they been searching for him, where are they, do they know that he ran away from home to eat something to roam around and is now unable to reach back home, it's getting darker and darker, and with that, this night was getting colder and number.
I could still hear him crying and yelling.

Like this, such a division of people doesn't throw away their child. They don't abort an unborn baby or kill a daughter brutally because they don't get to pay for dowries, pads or pampers. They never need it. Getting little money and food twice a day is enough for them. Education, health, and property hold no priority. All of these things matter to only some middle-class or upper-class families. Those costly wines, expensive dresses, show-off culture remain far away from the approach of these people. All they get is a simple life full of struggles, lack of money, ill health and an unhygienic environment to live in.

When I tried to ask him where he was going, who was with him, he got a little frightened and started to walk a little faster and tried to get away from me. He did not reply to anything, he kept crying and walking ahead, he looked towards every face and every street, just to guess if it is the same place where he lived and if his house was still there. But these people don't live in houses, they don't have any of them, though they work at big and beautiful houses for others. They live in temporary huts near that construction site.

For a moment I thought of holding his hand, and reporting it to the Dehli police, but, I was afraid of the masked people. The ones who put on a mask of being good, but it's far from reality.

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Probably, he was moving towards the street where the construction was going on, so I let him go to find his own way. People around kept looking at him and could not dare to stop him and ask, "what's the issue, why is he crying". Certainly, this is "Kalyug", and people are busier with their work and have no time to pay attention to those "crying sounds or a needy person".

We talk of fundamental rights, rules and regulations, other rights we deserve and moreover need, while we forget about our fundamental, moral and humanly duties. We call ourselves responsible citizens, while we forget to take on such responsibilities. On every 15th of August and 26th January, we get turned into a patriotic soul, while we forget that just feeling patriotic is not 'real patriotism'. This nation is your home and you, me - each one of us must own the responsibility to keep our nation - our home safe, secure and integrated.

Hey, do you still feel your problems are biggest of them all, do you still feel anxious, insecure, alone and abandoned? Then please just put yourself in the boots of this 5-6-year-old child, and feel what real anxiety, fear, nervousness, loneliness, despair and abandonment feels like.