Friday, April 30, 2010


Last week our Chechi had brought her daughter along to my house. (Chechi is what I call the lady who comes to help maintain the house.. I don’t understand how some people can casually call them servant, it sounds like a swear word.. Maid sounds marginally better) They were planning to go grocery shopping afterwards and she had come to help her mom out. Her name’s Aina, a very hard working young girl, all of 13 years old and quite a young lady already..

She accompanied me in feeding all the animals here and amidst our chatter I came to know that she can cook (I’m 21 years and counting.. Instant noodles anyone?), she likes to draw and the inevitable - quarrel with her younger sibling :)

I ask her what she wants to become in future.. She ponders for awhile.. She answers saying she doesn’t know. That got the wheels turning in my head.. Waitaminnit… Would she be given a say in that?? I prayed she would.

Have you given a thought to those people passing by on the street? Those children playing by the rail tracks, the families living in cardboard shacks. The chechi who comes to clean your house, the fish seller whose throat hurts from advertising her fish.. The speeding auto driver who tries to get back to earn his quota of a few trips a day. The grumpy bus conductors, scowling at students flashing their student concession cards. The security guards, the workers on the roadside, those out-of-state waiters who work in that restaurant you often visit..

Those people whom we cross paths with everyday, yet remain invisible to us. Nobody asked them what they wanted to be.. They too have their dreams and aspirations. What did we do to be born into the privileged world that we live in? We had no part to play in being chosen to be born to a loving family, a sound education, food on the table 3-4 times a day, a home. We’ve been given the freedom to make a choice, in what we want to wear, eat, watch.. In what we want to make of ourselves. Not everyone gets that chance.

We weren’t born privileged to be rude or snobbish to those around us. The least we can do is smile.. Try and be nice to others, lend a helping hand. We’ve been given the chance to make our lives meaningful.. And perhaps others’ lives through ours. So here’s your chance, you’re living it.. Be the light in the darkness :)

Oh and if you want to help out more, join Make A Difference! Learn more about MAD here: