Picture courtesy: Street Children
The stormy nights and the damp ground make the night feel like an eternity. I am the eldest member of our gang and I feel proud to be the leader but at the same time, I have a huge responsibility of protecting my two younger brothers. Ever since we ran away from our home as our dad used to drink and abuse us and our mother left us when I was 10 years old, the street has been our home. We crouch on a small piece of cardboard and cover ourselves with a piece of plastic or a newspaper. We make each other feel warm and secure as we are the guardian of ourselves. When my brothers are in a deep sleep, I always have a fear that the other children like us may come to rob us, and also the fear of the dog haunts me. The biggest fear is to find a place to spend another dangerous night. They call us “The Street Children” and laugh at us but little do they know that it’s not our interest but a compulsion.
The next morning, I decided to go for a bath as I could smell the foul odor around me. We can’t bath for weeks and sometimes even for months. The bath day is a great day for us, as we don’t spend our nights on the same road, so we headed towards the nearest river. After the bath, sometimes we smell even worse than before and most of the times, we are busy scratching our body. We were basking on the bank of the river and I felt as if I was on the top of the world. The bath made me feel goofy and I tried to grasp the rays of sunlight to kindle the darkness of my life.
We felt hungry and hurried towards the traffic junction and begged for some money. We wander from car to car in search of money and something to eat. People pass comments on us, “This is the easiest way to earn money without working.” My little brother was pleading for something to eat in the window of a red car; a stout hand popped out from the window and pushed him back. The window was hurriedly closed and the car hastened up despite my brother banged his head on the ground and was bleeding. We have human lives that resemble more with the animals than with the humans. Many people passed by but none of them moved their hands forward for the help. I tore my clothes and covered his bleeding forehead.
In the evening, the three of us huddled up near the fire that was ignited using the plastics and newspapers and enjoyed ourselves. Sniffing the glue is the best part of our celebration during the evening. We earn Rupees 60- 100 per day and use it for buying the glue from a hardware shop nearby. I go to the shop in the evening and ask for the dendrite for the carpet else we don’t get it. The glue makes us forget the realities of our life and takes away the hunger and biting cold away. I never wanted to sniff the glue as I know it is hazardous but my friends persuaded me to try it. I feel like this glue has been killing me inside as I suffer from chest pains and have bleeding nose time and again.
The next morning I headed towards the large garbage piles and started searching for something to fill my stomach. Thousands of dreams of a good life cross through my mind but I am unable to catch a single one. The agony grows in my heart every day with the untold desire of being loved. I dream of getting up from the nightmare and cruelty of this world someday in my life.