This weekend we had been to buy a music system for His First Love. It was a hot yet a windy day. While waiting for my husband to finish his shopping, I just thought of strolling around the mall. They were all kinds fo stuff in that mall, high fi gadgets, clothes from infants to adults, Shoes, accessories, name it you’ve got it. I had already reached the exit of the mall. There were better things even outside the mall.
There was this group of ragged people, all of different age group who were selling these cheap toys and some small decorative items. They must be refugees, some where from north India. Their dress style said so… I guess they were around like 15 to 20 of them. most were kids and few women.
A lady with a small baby drew all my attention. She was young may be around 25 years. She looked so shabby and pale. She had a baby in her lap, may be around 5 months of age. The baby was thin and looked so malnourished. The baby was desperately trying to feed from the mother, but she was busy trying to sell the stuff she had. How would she feed otherwise also, she was sitting on the footpaths of one of the big mall, where hundreds of people walk around.That poor little baby had to console itself with its thumb stuck in his mouth.
even today the thought of it brings the whole picture in front of my eyes. It might sound very common to people of India, but I was so much moved for the baby and as much angry for that lady. Didn’t she realize before conceding with her man, that if she ever conceives she’s bringing one more life to misery in this world.
I dont know why, I kept looking at the mother and the baby for such a long time, but I could not give them a rupee to help them. It was not that I ignore such people but sad experiences that I came across a few years ago.
It was when I was working, I was coming back from work in my office cab. It was a 180 seconds signal where we stopped. 180 seconds were more than enough for a beggar to show all the gimmicks, there was this lady carrying the baby to each car, banging the windows, show them the kid and beg for money for the kid. the baby was sleeping or may be unconscious, I dont know, it looked so unhealthy and malnourished, that without my knowledge I held a 10 rupee note towards the lady. She grabbed it and almost vanished begging at the next car. A few days later at the same signal, same time, I see her begging holding another baby almost just born I suppose. Our cab driver understood my confused face and said ” This happens everyday here. Each day its a new baby, they use them as means to quench thier thirst for liqour and not for child’s benifit.”
And a few days later I read in a local newspaper that the actual mothers and grand mothers give these children to other women for a rent of Rs 50 for a day. This was the saddest thing I ever read. I being a mother cannot think of leaving my daughter with my mother for a few hours if I had to go out. Not that I dont trust my mother, she takes better care of my daughter than me, but I think its the mother who has to be there with her child for its well being.
Its really sad, that I couldn’t identify the real mother from the fake ones. Or may be its the crulety of this insane world that, you use an infant to be alive. What I learnt?… One more truth about this cruel world.