Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Curse Of Poverty


This is the first time I am venting my heart on Quora - or on any platform for that matter. I have never let out the innermost thoughts of my heart; but with the passage of time, it is becoming more and more difficult to hold it within myself...

Whenever I pass by a beggar, or a labourer, or a poor destitute person, or a hapless scarcely clad woman, my heart stops beating for just a moment; my breath holds and my eyes well up. Whenever I see poor children on the streets, children with no education, and no hope of a good life, children denied the simplest joys we take for granted- like a glass of milk, or a chapati, or a chocolate, or a comic, or a tasty sabji, or a lovely dress... I cant help but feel lonely and sad at the horrifying curse that has hit my lovely nation. A queer frustration at the state of my nation and its poor people grips my mind...

And my heart screams - why, God, why? Why has it got to be so? What have we done that is so wrong, so brutally amoral that generations of Indians have to suffer this terrifying curse of abject poverty? What have we done to deserve this? My mind deserts me, and my heart goes vacant... for a moment - just for a moment - I can think of nothing else. At that point, I feel no rage, just a queer emptiness and a total helplessness in the face of such insurmountable odds. 

The evidence of poverty is to be found everywhere: on the roads in the form of the roadside hutments, the labourers in the sun, the carefree and scantily clad children playing around doing nothing, the poor and bare hutments in villages, the kuchha roads in the villages, the series of villages with landless peasants, villagers lounging about the chai shop with nothing to do, women with a old faded sari, the malnourished and famished children and adults both, the beggars in cities and towns alike... and my mind wonders... when will we be free of this terrible scourge? 

Raasta bahut lamba hai... manzil milon door hai, aur jaanaa kis taraf hai abhi toh yeh bhi maalum nahi hai. Magar tabhi- doosre kshan, mujhe kuchh aur dikhai detaa hai...

Har chehre par muskan; a smile on every face; the joy on the children's faces; the sheer delight as the mother gives them what she has to eat; the laughs of the men on the chai shop, the animated discussions of the labourers, the happy faces of the women as they talk while going about their chores, the carefree delight on the children... and I wonder in admiration at these people's spirit... 

Unfortunately, this spirit does not relieve them from the problems of poverty; having said that it does give them the courage to face it. Perhaps, faced with such insurmountable odds, this is a natural and expected defense mechanism of the human mind. I dont know; but I cannot help but feel a wonder at their spirit and infinite sadness at their plight... and in this moment, I sometimes (not often, to be frank) ask God to allow me to contribute in whatever way I can to alleviate the problem!

And then the moment passes; I am back to realities of life; to the meeting with my team; or with my boss; or my monthly target; or the business plan that needs to be submitted next week; or the.... the moment has passed, and life goes on. Such is life, folks... such is life...

Hope at least one person appreciates this; it is written from my heart. The first time I have shared such internal thoughts...

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