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Aaditya and Me by Aditya Joshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Disclaimer: An imaginary account of a real story. I didn't mean to distort the facts - I just want to present what I experienced when I heard the story.
The magnitude of what I felt was a minuscule fraction of what it must have been in real.

I don't know the exact year on the scale of time. It was just before 1990 actually. This room somewhere in North India was full of kids of different ages. Atleast fifty of them huddled up on the floor. There were four teachers in the classroom with a stack of sheets. They handed out each to the students and began to teach them the English alphabet.

I can move through the room looking at the faces of these kids. I don't see pain. I see numbness that stems from horror. I see the images of seeing one's grandparents being dragged out of the house, neighbours being shot dead in the middle of the street. One's dad on his feet and head bent down before a gunned man. Hordes of people carrying all that they could and taking any means of transport out of their homelands. Houseboats going up in flames. I can see the flames in their eyes.

These kids were stationed at this makeshift school. Their families had lost all the money and confidence they ever had. This school was the family's last hope to revive their son's childhood. To wipe out the images that had frozen in his eyes.

I see Vijesh among those kids. Scribbling a rose with the half-broken pencil. This child had kept his eye for beauty alive amidst all the inhumanity around him.

Vijesh wouldn't like me saying this here. But I, somehow, cannot stop myself. He is an engineer now. And is donating his first salary to the same school which still houses many more children like him. These places are more sacred than all the temples, churches and mosques of the world.

1 comment:

  1. These four teachers are angels,gods..
    Who are they?
    These people offer "sacredness"
    to the places..