Standing alone amidst that fury there was water till eyes could wander…
and a silhouette of what seemed like a kid running towards my blurred vision….

Panting and Gasping …
the malnourished rib cage gave way to countable number of bones….
The kid tugged at my dupatta….

Five rupees …. He said panting…. broken house….
Ten rupees…. Boat ride……
Fifty rupees … Dead body!!!

While I listened with a smirk… half conscious about what he spoke and half sedentary in my own little world awing his innocence… the last two words jolted me back to reality!!!!

Dead body!!!!!! …… Kid what do u speak???
He looks at me with surprise filled eyes… and trust me there was a lot of surprise than what I could show….

Who Are you?, he questions….
Lips twitched.. eyes narrowed… he looks around as if to spot a UFO which had landed me here….

I am a girl.. a normal girl.. I have come here to help….
He smiles… it’s a smile of wisdom coming from a seven year old…

Where’s your camera??? Where are your reporters??
None.. I quip!

Oh ! Then are you a martyr????…
I see sarcasm.. my blood boils…
No!!!! No.. Kid I’m just a human who’s come here to reach out to people!!!

Hah!!! …. Come on.. bring out your camera… see there’s a lot to be captured here…. It’ll make a great footage… well what do u want to see…. Aahhh… first tell me are u a foreign student??? Do u want to see poor Indians?? Hungry Indians???? See … see the fair Man over there… He wants to take back India to his people back at home… The Real India… the Hungry India…. Wait… U r Indian…. Here let me lead you to good places for footages… who knows you might make a Pinky or Slumdog someday…. Give me a bit of role please… he smiles….

No.. No … No… You are getting me wrong… see I have got Aid .. See I want to help you… I look down … beside me lies my bag….

And before I could react…. The kid opens it and glares….Oh look… clothes … used and old clothes worn over and over again.. worn till they are were fit only for exchange of utensils and bundled in a corner… when Nature gave you its chance to prove your bonafidity… and yes medicines… those samples from doctors who are your benevolent relatives… and who think as long as I am not your kid it’s ok to give a tablet that has “just” crossed the expiry date!!!!

Help… did u say????Oh!! Help… and what about that Handy cam snippet… or that photo.. Don’t u want to click hungry kids… women with babies… standing beside you as you give aid….

Proof of your help… the kid bursts out laughing….

I feel so small… and just then I see a woman wailing…. She’s lost her kid… the body lying still is a depiction of the life that she had nurtured once….

Go … Go… Click a picture… may it adorn the political campaigns next year… it’ll be a good sequel to those Tapasi Mallick’s charred photos….I

try to protest… my ears burning… I looked around for support… but instead see repulsion …. Anger… and emotions other, which I dared not to comprehend.

I try to explain that not all were same… that there were people who really wanted to help…

The kid laughs with head thrown back… the tide rises in affirmation… and just then a vehicle loaded with goods enter… I smile… at this godsend support…

I am just about to walk towards them… when my feet freeze…

The vehicle was covered with political propaganda… refused to download “aid’ till media came…. and amidst all the dead bodies that lay strewn the garlands were found more befitting for the minister who had arranged this aid…

I could see the dark clouds gathering in…. depicting the gloom that has fallen over … nature was again ready to unleash its fury… at mankind!!!

Advertisements