Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another World Exists

My name is Anil Das. I was featured in the 22nd. December '08 edition of India Today. I however am no celebrity. I am neither a prodigy, nor a uber cool member of the GenZ that is poised to lead India to her epochal heights. I am not a pacifist, and I don't understand terms as esoteric as socialism and capitalism. I am, but a twelve year old worker in a dingy little working class dhaba in Bhowanipur, South Calcutta. I work overtime, often upto 17 hours unceasingly, in a lugubrious ambience, stirring endless pots of tea for the laborers of Calcutta's U-rail project. I have never known a school from inside. Likewise for kindness, warmth and love. Ever. Sometimes, my thoughts wander over to the bucolic settlement of my village at Midnapore, wherein my mother is slowly succumbing to her battles with her ailments and my siblings are desperately fighting starvation.

I'm very happy today. I have been rewarded. The tea stall owner came and promised me that he would give me Rs. 40 instead of the Rs. 25 that I make. I am happy. My eyes are shining as I vigorously stir the tea. Maybe, some day, if I work this hard, I'll set up my own dhaba. Maybe, some day, I'll be able to feed my siblings and treat my ailing mother. Thank you God, for helping me earn more money for my family....

Another World Exists!