Saturday, March 26, 2011

peeping in Slum dogs life!


                                                          Akash, his little sister with mother :)

       Akash's kholi       


My upsetting face was sparkled when I saw an image of a boy in shabby clothes and untidy serious face tightening a rope around pile of garbage which was bigger than him. He was giving the best knots so that it won’t get slip. He was about four feet tall. He was in slippers that seem like being use for long time. His navy color trouser made me doubt if he goes to the ‘Phulbari School’.
Hey! Timro naan k ho?
Rohit ; he replied in a low voice lifting the pile of garbage on his head. It was really big, which made me puzzled he won’t be able to carry them on his head.  But I was wrong and I am glad he proved me wrong. I felt that he is the man of his age. A real man!
We were walking together from Tinchuli and talking at the same time. I asked him many questions. I was lucky that a boy with serious face gave me all the answers.
Rohit is 12. He is living in a place behind the boudha stupa with his family. His eyes were wide opened when I asked him if I can come to his place to see him. He agreed. He left from phulbari saying that he has to sell the garbage that was on his head. He even mentioned that he will get 10 rupees per kg. I wonder if he got 50 rupees that day.
I along with my sister went to the place where Rohit was living. We passed by the ‘Boudha Siddhartha Hall’. I had some idea of that place from a long time. But this time I was going there for real with a reason and for the first time. We saw the place fully occupied with very small temporary houses covered with a black and blue plastic roof. I could dare to enter that place; scared of being yelled without knowing the reason which happens over and over again among people with misunderstanding. I didn’t know what to do. I saw number of kids playing cricket at the near open field. I went near and I came to know that they were living right there with their families. I asked them if one could go and call Rohit for me. I felt bad when they told me; he left a day before along with his family. But another Rohit among the kids I was talking. I came to know Akash, Bikki and Raju. They were very nice talking to me. I have always adored kids and talking to these kids is no wonder an amazing feeling within me. I asked them if they will be here around 4:30 in the afternoon or if I can see them again. They agreed with beautiful expressions on their face. We left and it was dawn by the time we left.
I came home early from office. We had some sweater, stationeries, and colors hand bags from office to distribute. We reached to the place again. Everyone there calls it “Jhopat basti”. Few nepali kids saw us from a house that was next to the place we were heading “Jhopat basti”.
Oh my goodness; I saw the toilet of the “basti” which was nothing like a toilet but a a place rolled with torn old clothes and hollow tin supported with some tiny wood. One can easily notice what a person might be doing inside. The smell was Awww…I had to cover my nose as quickly as I could. i saw dogs, ducks, hens, chickens, goats ,cow living very friendly. One can easily see the take off planes from there.
The place was a complete mess. May be I didn’t see it yesterday because it was already dark by the time we got there. There was a boy holding a tiny girl around his arm. I asked him if he could call Akash. He disappeared without a word but within a minute I saw Akash coming to me. Thanks to the boy.
Akash took us in his house. They call it “kholi”. As I got near to the place, the kholi’s more looked like bars of bamboos covered with black and blue plastics. I felt bad to see their house condition but wait wait….they had color Television of 24 inches with latest DVD’s and music system almost in every kholi. A music system, god damn! I don’t have it of my own. I could hear the fighting sounds in the Hindi movies. Oh god!  Akash made me feel fine in his kholi. I was feeling free on the bed. The kids surrounded me. We gave away sweaters, hats, colors, bags, pens, pencils etc one by one but trust me it wasn’t an easy thing to do. They were shouting ‘aye didi, bachhay ko deydo! Time and again, this was nothing but noises disturbing the kid sleeping  next to us.
I asked Akash’s mother about how they manage everything here. Do every kids here go to school for education? Are they sponsored for their education or going to a government school? How do they carry on through the bad weather? How do they get drinking water? Blah blah blah…..
They do have sponsors to educate the children. The most of the kids were attending school. They have a drinking water through the underground pumps. There are more than three hundred people living in more than hundred kholi’s of that ‘basti’ . They had only four temporary toilets which more looked like a tiny hut built by play group kids. Most of the morning its difficulty for people who waits in the queue for the toilet and one makes everyone waits…then again noises aroused. Some clever people make their way to use the public toilet opposite of the Boudha Gate. Now that’s something good to get away.
They had to pay two hundreds of the land rent per month, three hundreds rupees for the electricity and one hundred for the toilet, which makes  six hundreds of expenses per month from every family. I don’t see the use of the toilet when most of you go to the public one right, everyone laughed. Akash’s mother has been living in this kholi for more than twenty years by now. She said she got married here and gave birth to her three children here in the same kholi. I was like….What??????
Akash was near me. I was feeling very much easy sitting next to him. He was calm and was sharing views of the elders of the kholi’s. I gave Akash some extra things than other kids because I liked him which is so simple to understand. I was thinking to leave because it was getting dark.
Even when I left meeting other kids, the feeling of meeting Rohit was still alive. This assured me of meeting him no matter what. Back home, we meet many other children playing in group, distributed the leftover stationeries and came back with a smile comprehending other sweet smiles on the innocent faces. But we missed to witness a Real Smile. Rohit’s Smile!

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                             Dolkar lhamo mashutzo


  1. where is d like button ? eh thumbs up acha la :)

  2. I really enjoyed reading this article. great writing and an interesting topic.

  3. tenzin,,,u better keep on reading all my writing lol'

  4. Amanda: thank u for ur comment. hope people likes it too...

  5. dami cha i really enjoy reading your blog keep up the good work

  6. Mij: thank you for visiting and reading my articles....visit again :)

  7. sure will keep up the good work do visit mine too not that great but still lol