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Extremes of Disrepute

I had gone to a South Mumbai hospital to cover an event some 6 months back. I was waiting for someone at that time, sitting in the lobby. Then, I saw him. He would have been 13-14 years old. Probably his parents had left him in a wheelchair near the sequence of seats on which I was sitting. There was another boy with him.


The boy in the wheelchair said, “On the way to this hospital, I saw people in the footpath beginning to cook from 5 PM before the daylight went off. They cook rotis on bricks and have them with onion, green chili and a piece of jaggery. They are daily wage workers, who are the gutter-diggers, stone-breakers and mud-transporters (on foot). We cannot do without these workers. On the other hand, I watched on TV that people scatter crores and crores of money on a singer, who is already earning enough from the concert. If these people would construct small houses or flats for the daily wage workers with the money they waste on the singers, it would be a humanitarian act. I wish the government would ban such throwing of money on artists and convince the people to invest the money instead in rehabilitating the poor people.”

At that time, I asked the boy, “What is your name?”

He replied, “Yashwant.”

I asked him, “And surname?”

“Does anyone need a surname? All of us are human beings.”

I was shocked and asked him, “Which class are you studying in?”

“I am studying in the 9th standard in a very good school. I come within the first 10 ranks. That is why I got an admission in this school. But, my governess takes me to my class seat in this wheelchair and brings me back home. She also stays in the school to look after my requirements. Some boys insult me looking at this. I know the next question that you will ask will be what happened to my legs. When I was 3, I fell down from the second floor and fractured both my legs. It did not heal due to complications. I am stuck to this wheelchair. God has given me this life. So, I tolerate all the insult.”

The other boy said, “They ill-treat him without even some mercy. He keeps concentrating on his studies, tolerating everything.”

A lady sitting near me appreciated the boy and patted his back, “No one will be like you.”

I said, “My friend’s family lives in the suburbs. The 7 families living in the other flats of the building and the doctor running the hospital on the ground floor insult them so badly that my friend attempted suicide once. The whole family is on the verge of suicide now. The neighbors and the doctor have gone to extremes giving disrepute to the family. The family is under the guidance of a top class psychiatrist, who is counseling them. Thus, they are holding their ground and tolerating everything. Such bad people can be found everywhere. We have to overcome such people, surge ahead and achieve our goals. We should be disciplined and truthful.”


About Yashaswini K

Controversy is the second name of Yashaswini. She goes where something is amiss and picks up the threads to make a clear story out of it. She has also written 2 books in the Radha Srinivasan Mystery Series.

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