17th February – I was very feeling very sad because my parents had come over and I had to leave them and go for my OUTREACH Work. We were assigned a field visit to Bangalore City railway station and The KSRTC, BMTC bus stations. The time we spent in the city railway station and the bus stations in Majestic seemed like a journey to a different world. It was a world we never came through before, where its children were hungry, homeless, driven by the shackles of poverty into the social evils of drug abuse and prostitution.
These kids share a tremendous amount of love; care and unity in a place where they are brought together by fate to the darker side of life.
The 8 of us actually realized what lies behind the scenes in these places which seems to be the hub of commuters in and around Bangalore.
Some of these kids are so lovely and cute, but their loss of innocence, their rough attitude, their distrust everything made me think twice. Children of the street, rendered homeless would obviously turn into people like this.
It is very touching to see them lying in an intoxicated state , after inhaling erase-ex, petrol etc..
Do these kids get addicted as part of habit formation or do they wanna go on high just to forget their distress???? many of these kids come from the remote areas of India in search of better prospects like earning more money etc. While Bangalore is one of the most happening places in India now, a new dimension s being created in terms of such run away kids. Hotel owners, brokers, pimps etc take advantage of their innocence and lots of them are locked up in remote areas where nobody would even turn up.
On one side there are kids who are content with their lives like this, earning easy money, while on the other side we find kids whose pleas for help are unheard.
Just smile at these kids and see how they brighten up! An affectionate word, a smile, a hug is all that is needed for making their day.
You may find so many of such kids around you but majority of us end up with a sympathetic look or something which expresses “disgusting” on your face. All you think is ” after all why”?
I had the same question in my mind until one of my friends gave me the most convincing answer so far.
“they are suffering for you! It could have been you in their place had circumstances been different”
End of the day I returned with a sense of fulfilment and felt it was worth the sacrifice I made on a weekend.
14th feb 2007
another valentine s day dawns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7.45 p.m- the breakfast bell rings ( apparently that s my alarm)…
I wake up grumbling at chechi,my college and everyone around me. I check my mobile inbox to find silly valentine forwards. The smart people wished me in advance coz messages were getting charged. So another boring college day( would have been quite interesting had it been a co-ed :P).
I get ready to go to college. Someone had sent a message regarding the dress code to be followed on valentine s day. I just wondered which one to wear but dammit all my white dresses didn’t seem to be white in colour anymore. I was rummaging through my cup-board when I started getting too many calls simultaneously.
“jj, get a kurtha”
” jj get a shawl”
‘jj, get a jacket or pullover”
Oh! that is the matter. Dress code enforcement again. Girls were being sent back home to change. It was getting late and I rushed down to the college gate with whatever I could find in my messy cup-board. Had to help the girls who didn’t have enough clothes to wear.
“What ma? Hostelites helping out day-scholars? Go back to hostel and keep your stuff” says the guard.
I gobbled up my breakfast and ran to class. Oh no! madam is already in class. There were 3 more people ahead of me.
“What happened? Why are you late?” Ma’m asked in a serious tone.
“Traffic jam ma’m“…Bless the day scholars they have the evergreen excuse. Now What shall I say?
” What happened JJ???? late again?” ( this was the umpteenth time I was late for her class considering the fact that my hostel room is just a few metres away from my classroom)
” Ma’m there was no water” , the regular excuse.
” You should get up early and first first have a bath JJ” she said in her typical Tamilian ishtyle
” Ma’m even if I wake up earlyIi have to wait for chechi to switch on the motor, she does that only after 7.45. So there is a huge rush at that time” I tried to explain.
” Ma’m there was traffic jam in the hostel too” someone in my class commented.
The whole class burst into peals of laughter for this PJ.
Somehow I managed to wear that innocent look and madam let me enter the class(rather I had already entered halfway through giving explanations and excuses).
Meanwhile there was a long queue outside college. Girls weren’t being allowed to enter. Id cards were being confiscated.
Soon this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Girls who were wondering on how little time they would get to spend with their valentines had a wonderful excuse to hangout. Soon the crowd started dispersing. Lucky gals!!!!!
Almost lunch time. I was feeling so hungry and was waiting for the boring language hour to get over. A few girls entered the class. Another protest? cool….. last year we protested wearing night suits and tracks to college. What re we gonna wear this year?
“GIRLS! as we know today there was the surprise dress code implementation, it is not fair and no rules has been laid down on what kind of dress code is to be followed in our college. We are giving a petition, so please sign”
Girls began signing with great enthusiasm as if they were giving their first autographs.
“thank you Girls, please assemble in front of the main office by 12.30 p.m” the petitioner said and left the room.
“tum ladkiyon ko aur koi kaam nahin hai kya?? dress code hona hi chahiye.hamare college ke ladki log bahut hi gandhi tharah se dress karte hai. dek ke hum teachers ko hi sharam aa jaatha hai,” The lecturer added with the necessary pauses, emphasis and actions ( when they teach poetry, it comes naturally)
After lunch I was free for the rest of the day. So I decided to take short nap. Actually I slept like a log till tea time.
Discussion during tea time was also regarding dress code.
Fi says ,” Gals its valentine s day and we’re jobless…let s do something special”
Finally we decide to go to SIGMA mall.
We visited the new food court SPOON. The noodles seemed tempting and I didn t mind spending a few extra bucks for something tasty compared to the hostel grub!
We feasted on noodles and ice cream. All of a sudden someone shouts,”hey it s 6.00. We ve to be back”
oh no! the hostel gates close at 6. All of us ran and brisk walked and managed to reach by 6.20 p.m.
A ” happy valentine’s day uncle” did the trick for the security letting us in. He stood there embarrassed and beaming ear to ear on being wished by 8 young girls!!!!!!
Back to jail.
The nun comes on rounds with a few greeting cards in her hand. We let our imaginations go wild and I’ m least interested to specify them here.
the lights go off and I go off too sleep.
My cell starts buzzing again. The not so smart ones were sending me belated valentine s day wishes. Go to hell!!!!! let me sleep
Sadly, the one I wished would wish me never wished.
Another eventful day, uneventful valentine’s day came to an end!!!!!!