|by Tanmay N. Vora|
|Published on: Mar 22, 2002|
|It was a dull Sunday, and having no other work to do, I was getting bored. I had an overdose of both sleep and reading. Having nothing else to do, we decided to visit a temple just two kilometers away from the town. It being our first trip in the newly purchased car added to the excitement.
On our way to the temple was an orphanage whose matron was my mother’s friend. Since I had never been to an orphanage, we decided to visit the place. As we entered the premises, soft music in the fragrant garden was spread around. The atmosphere inside was calm and pleasant. After walking through the whole premises, we finally reached the place where these unfortunate kids stayed. Kids of different age groups were seen around doing their own things on their own, like folding the clothes and making their beds. As we entered, a group of around fifteen kids surrounded me. Some mature and reserved ones just stared. “Chirag” – the youngest one in the orphanage lovingly greeted me. He was just four and a half years old. His shiny, bright, sharp-cornered eyes and spontaneity were really pleasing. In no time, he had developed a sense of belongingness with us, following wherever we went. The matron informed us that Chirag did all his routine work from preparing his bed to rearranging his clothes on his own. We were really impressed.
The moment he sensed that we were about to leave, he caught my finger indicating his willingness to accompany us.
I asked: “Chirag, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Police”, came a prompt reply. His confidence amazed me.
I said: “I’ll bring some toys for you next time”
He immediately responded: “Bring a pistol for me.”
I asked: “ What would you do with a pistol?”
“I will kill my father”: he uttered with some anger in his tiny eyes. This sentence coming from Chirag came as a shock to me and I remained speechless for a while, not knowing how to respond.
The matron explained to us that Chirag’s father was a drunkard who used to drink from the money earned by his hardworking mother. For the same reason, he used to abuse and beat both Chirag and his mother.
Chirag’s parents had left him in this orphanage and went their own way, making Chirag an orphan, in spite of having both the parents.
The matron took Chirag to his room and we resumed our trip. I was speechless throughout the journey. At the temple, I prayed for little Chirag and his like in other parts of world. At the end of the journey, I found the root of all the violence and illiteracy around. I realised that no human being is a terrorist, killer, or extremist by birth, but by circumstances and people that make them so. It was a trip of realisation.