One cold wintry morning, when I was sleeping on the pavement, my body uncovered by a blanket to beat the chilly wind, I saw a beautiful dream.
An angel visited me. His name was Montu. In fact, I should call him Montu bhaiyya, for he addressed me as his little brother. How lovely those words sounded! After all, I don’t really have a family; my parents abandoned me when I was a little kid because they couldn’t feed me with their very little income.
Montu bhaiyya caressed my dirty hair and made me sleep on his lap. He didn’t bother about my soiled clothes or the slight stench coming off my unwashed body. He told me that he had come to help me. He said that he wants to be my voice; he wants to share my story with all the sleeping countrymen who always look down upon street children like us or do not care about our upliftment. He believed my story could wake them up,at least some of them if not all. I smiled. I decided to speak my heart out.
Montu bhaiyya, I didn’t choose this life. My ill-fate threw me into this agony.But, I had to live, so I made the streets my home. The street children are my friends but I can’t exactly call them family. Family does not snatch the little food or water you manage to find in the waste-bins of the city. Everyday is a survival test; sometimes I have to sleep hungry. This becomes even more difficult when I see some of the bullies bring delicious leftovers from restaurant dustbins or marriage parties, and gorge on them all by themselves, not caring to share with the weaker ones like me. Look at me, I am so thin, I can’t even stand up to them.
Montu bhaiyya, I have a conscience and my conscience tells me that stealing is bad. It makes me so angry to see some little friends of mine sneak into small eateries and steal food and celebrate the deed as a remarkable achievement. Most of them are lucky to escape but some of them are caught red-handed and are thrashed severely in public. But, I question my own conscience then. Do we really have a choice? If stealing can feed us, then may be I have to dirty my hands too.
Montu bhaiyya, I want to grow up into a good person. I don’t want to die living this miserable life. I want people not to show sympathy at us, but care for us. The few that throw a coin or two at us, thinking it to be a charitable act, actually put us into more misery. Tell the people to rescue every single one of us from the streets, educate us, feed us and give us a better future than the one we are ill-fated to realize sooner or later. Do whatever you can.
Montu bhaiyya hugged me tight. I could see a tear in his eyes. He said, “Thank you for sharing your story. You touched my heart brother. Don’t you worry. Sleep well now. Soon a change will come. I promise you that. Because…Bin Bole Ab Nahi Chalega, Strepsils Ke Saath Ab Montu Bolega.”
This blog post has been written as a part of the Indiblogger campaign “The Power of Voice to Clean India”. To know more about it, you can check http://www.abmontubolega.com/, as well as Strepsils on Facebook andTwitter.
AbMontuBolega is a wonderful and encouraging initiative taken by Strepsils to help people open up and raise their voices against the people and their practices maligning the country and aim at achieving the dream of a clean India. Hosted by the amazingly talented actor Saqib Saleem, this campaign serves a noble purpose and all responsible citizens should wholeheartedly lend their support to it.