The elementary school classroom of a slum

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Just before I thought of starting this one,a voice spoke(with heavily accented work-load),Hurry up,you have an economics assingnment,accounts retirement and death and issue of debentures to prepare and you've got to go through fountainhead,RSJ,time out.Counter this,I heard my language teacher yelling at the back of my head,"When you have to do something,do that sincerely child.Don't mix up two things at once.",Thank you ma'am.Yes so I've learnt my lesson.Even though I've got some(I am bad at mathematics.Bad enough to even add correctly,why? Because I'm not an adder :) [puns intended]

I.F. was telling me around yesterday when we spotted The Dope swinging,and it was somewhere after Loo-break that she asked me about the latest documentary,whether I've seen it or not.Since my schedule was badly caught up with over-work syndrome I obviously didn't get the time to check out.So when this issue came up last night,I was a tad bit upset but luck could not favour me much about this,(yes I am lucky ONLY till this extent,not always though,that if I miss some action on television or around,I sometimes catch the repeat,not significant for you..I couldn't care more.)So this documentary is by a bunch of 12 graders from a Posh high-end school( I am not naming it for specific reasons.) students,loaded with exorbitant amount of X,Y,Z badges from neck to abdomen on their blazers,which is not shocking.The documentary is called "Island of Poverty" and is based on the life of people living in shunties/huts/unhygienic conditions and how the drain is left open and the slum kids have to sleep over it,and basically highlighting how they're surviving in the atrocious conditions.

Now it vividly comes to me,story I once read,it was in one of the hindi textbooks followed by some school(not mine).The story was about two budding artist friends.One of them was leaving the country for a scholarship and on her way to airport she spots a dead women,her body rottening under the tree and her infant child and the other aged around 2 crying profusely,without even knowing the loss.This women stops by and sketched the main scene and goes to become one of the leading artist of the country in some time after finishing the remaining thing later.That one scene changed her entire life.Accompanied by her other budding artist friend one the same day,both of them catch up after 5 years on the latter's success on canvas.The big-shot she is,pops her eye balls when she sees her almost famous friends accompanied by two kids,she questions her knowingly that they can't be her children.It's then that our almost famous artist tells her the secret that 5 years back,she adopted those kids,whose potrait made her friend famous.The kids could've died on the road.Their faces made on famous and other human.I don't think I am missing something here but definitely I know one thing,translations loose the essence of stories.They can never be the same when interpreted in any language.

Coming to the point,I was reminded of this story when I saw that coverage of documnetary myself.The duo out of five people who were the directors were ranting about how the budgeting,scripting etc was managed,and when this was screened in their school auditorium,everyone went quite.The silence told them they were successful and their documentary made people think.Let's take this analytically now.I.F while reciting me about this yesterday already mentioned,these kids from posh schools have no idea where is life existing.She even questioned me whether I was aware of all this.Obviously, I was born in Delhi,Not California that I don't know where and what is happening.The statistical figures in economics texts do not make me wonder about anything.I am aware of the mall-hopping culture as well as one family consisting of 5 members surviving on the meagre income of Rs 1200 per month.This is not a thing to boast out amongst my peers,Looks okay I know all that ,Yaye I am sensitizing the whole country ,the goddamned system.But there is an other side as well.The bits what they portrayed on the television showed still shots of the side of India which any tourist would like to capture and boast of in a backyard tea-party in his country,excluding the SAARC countries or most of the south Asian countries.

I am talking about something from my own account.The family which irons the clothes of our block resides outside my neighbour's backyard.They're given the privilege to use one of the washrooms and any amount of water and electricity they can,ofcourse after offering some services.This family consists of 4 adults and 2 children and 4 pigeons,2 pairs of love-birds.Ahem, and I've personally seen generoud people gifting Fisher-Price toys,Designer clothes to the youngest members.Picture this,they sell off the toys to any one who is ready to pay them a hefty amount,and leave a few really dirty ones to let them kids play.The clothes are never washed and so are the kids.They are washermen family,yet their kids are never bathed or cleaned,even after providing them with all the aforementioned.Even the adults themselves don't believe in the concept of cleanliness and the godliness aspect though they are God-fearing people.

Personally I am of the view that if someone wants to have clean surroundings to reside,work they'd do all the efforts they can.Without sounding judgemental I strongly feel if anyone wants to be hygienic and clean they would probably do all they can,which makes me say the thing directly that if any of these people want to do something for themselves they'd do it and not sit around and wait for any of the bloggers/documentarians/news-reporters/statisticians to land up and listen to their tale of agony.Not comepletely their fault but the wannabe streak of "enlighted brain child" of such students too.C'mon if you want to do something for the society,do that,don't fucking spend 11 grands to hire the camera equipments and just watch the thing and make people cry and celebrate your success at the lounge near your house with shit-loads of booze in your mouth and hand.Go and make yourself available at the nearest volunteer centre and try and start a cleaning drive around the place where the same kid is sleeping..

Once this was over,they were asked to have an interactive session with some non government funded school children.The man director took around 25 seconds to think and another 60 to use his hindi speaking skills to ask the slum bred-school educated guy how do they study? The SBSE chap replied in semantically correct english ,explaining the patter they follow.This was just the trailer.One of the footballers of the lesser known school was asked which club does Ronaldo plays for,and he managed that correctly also adding names of two more players,who play for the same club.Come to my school and you'd exactly know the level of ignorance and whether they actually know about clubs/teams etc. barring Chetan Bhagat,Cricket team,and SRK flicks.Oh hey! and the movie Rock On! the epitome of coolness.

So I.F was correct in her way.The rich and the hopeless kids had no idea about this part of the world and the way these people existed.The documentarians did their job.They were applauded and they inspired people to do more documentaries on the unbeaten path.Someone please tell them we've had enough of such documentaries.Stop hiding behind the curtain waiting for applause and appreciation and do something which makes up for your bad hindi and also for the betterment of these slum people.We'd be more than happy joining you for that.And special acknowledgement to I.F. for informing me about the same.

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5 comments

  1. i thought u'l b rytin abt d annual day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow. you are getting it finally to write for people. totally awesome. Very clear thought process and diction is totally impacable. You did right gurl.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hiiiii Snobo!!!
    Missed u sooo much...feels nice to write a comment after so many centuries!!
    I came online now after 2 weeks, and your comments wr truly sweet! I thought ud all 4get me d moment i went away...
    Neway, i REALLY have missed a lot! the blog layout, vocab, ur style of writing, views about d posh-skool-waala-documentarians...phew! now how dya describe something that was already perfect, and seems to have got 10 times better?! :) nah nah...not flattering u...me just happy to be back and to see so many good posts lined up for me to devour!

    keep writing dudette!
    Rock On...
    luv,
    jan.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ Sorrowluv-Sooner or later,Let the time come.
    @Satishs-Yeah pretty much,very down to earth,this one.
    @eternal dreamer-No,I was keeping a regular tab of your page,was eagerly awaiting.I am more than delighted for your return and thanks for all the honour and the non flattery!Well I am looking forward to hear from you all about the longest break.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I.F. is ~?~

    And I miss such stories man. Morality is chic. :)

    I have less to say on this. 'Cause it seems like a futile exercise.

    But the whole thing. I like, I like.

    ReplyDelete

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