Muddy lives

Posted by Aparna Mishra
August 17, 2017

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“… But this is the only life we have, and we can’t expect anything more from it.” Said the fourteen year old in his regional language and ran away. The same feeling of hopelessness could be clearly seen in every pair of eyes that I checked into. From minors to the elderly people, there was one thing in common. All of them seemed to be very accustomed to the kind of living we are scared of even in dreams. Nobody tend to look for any possible change that may lead to the betterment of their conditions. Although government has taken appreciable steps to enhance their education and livelihood, matters are still worse.

The group I was discussing about lives in an open playground in front of one of the busiest SBI branch of our city. Each family has their separate tent where they live ‘peacefully’. Their major belongings consist of not more than a few clothes, few utensils and a ‘chulha’. Even heavy monsoon showers fail to hinder their ‘peace’. Though in rain the playground gets muddy, and sometimes water fill up to their tents, but they manage. Sometimes, water breaks into their chulha and they have to sleep on an empty stomach, but they manage. Their kids do not go to school for maximum part of the year because they have to support their families, but they manage.

I remember, once, when I was a kid I was arguing my father about how he does not fulfill any of my wishes and I have no facilities as such. In reply, he smiled and said, ask the children who don’t have a shelter on their heads, and you will know what you have. At that time, it did not make any sense to me at all, but it certainly does now. Even after 70 years of independence, a big section of our society is still caged. Caged into poverty and hopelessness. They don’t have dreams, they have hunger and they work hard to get it satisfied. Though the lack of resources, they live in peace because this is the only life they know, and they can’t expect anything more from it.

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