Today was different. Yes, I played with the children as usual. Yes, I danced with them as usual. But it was still different. It was different because today a boy of 14 years old trusted me enough to give me a glimpse of his life story. The boy was Prashant, studying in the 5th std.
He told me that he has no parents and was on the street when one woman approached him and asked him if he wants to study. At first he said no,but then later on when she asked him everyday, he agreed. Then that woman told him to meet her at the railway station. But she never turned up. Then he went on to tell me that a woman called Anita took him into her house. He tells me that Anita aunty is not like the others who used to make him work. She makes sure he goes to school and studies. He said that there are two small children living along with them. The other boys his age go to the cinema but Anita aunty tells him to be nearby and not go with these boys, because he should be a good boy. He says he likes it there. He reads the Bible as well. Then he went on to tell me how he hit one boy in school the other day and that boy’s lips were bleeding. When asked why he hit him, he replied saying that the boy made some comments on his mother, because of the rosary he was wearing. His words weren't very clear and it was difficult for me to understand. I told Prashant that I know that boy hurt you by commenting on your mother, but you shouldn't hit him. He then replies saying I know akka but I was really hurt. Before I could say anything he runs off...
After a while, though, I got a few minutes with him again and this time this was how our conversation went :
P: Akka where are you from?
S: I’m from Mumbai
P: When I first saw you I thought you were from China
P:Because you are black no akka (referring to my skin color)
S: But dark people are mostly seen in Africa Prashant!
P: No akka China!!
Who can argue with this child?!
-- Sonia Elizabeth Prasadam