What I saw yesterday at Howrah station was one of the gory pictures the ‘shining’ India still paints. There are small mal-nourished children who make the platforms their home in almost all big railway stations. They smoke thrown out cigarette butts. They suck dendrite tubes. Passengers try to keep safe distance from these dirty kids. They sometimes broom the rail compartments in the hope of earning a few rupees. They also go begging sometimes putting a sorrow face and telling you that he/she has not eaten anything through out day. They grow up to be goons. What else one can be who has such a pathetic childhood?
I bought an egg-roll yesterday from the food plaza during my return home from Kolkata. As soon as I finished it and threw the remnant into the trash bin, two-three children, who were watching me eating from a distance, rushed towards the bin, picked up the piece of the paper holding my roll and started eating whatever was stuck to it! It’s not that the children were very unhappy or gloomy for their plight. Rather one will get the impression that they are doing it happily. Maybe this is the way they have, to churn happiness out of their life. They have learnt the tricks to survive in such small age.
This is India. Is anybody listening?