Irreclaimable Innocence

An unplanned beach getaway to rid myself of the politics of everyday life.

A barely affordable sushi experience to quell the ‘sense of adventure’ in me.

The exorbitantly priced ride I take home post a tiring day of shopping…err…‘retail therapy’ simply because I can’t wait around for a metered fare.

The ka-ching does come from my very own ‘deep’ pockets that I dug sacrificing my eyes and back to a computer screen.
Of course I am entitled to spend it the way I choose without having to justify myself. I think ‘hard-earned’ is the adjective they use.

Then, I came across a little girl, barely in her teens, an A-grader in the 7th standard. She loves Maths and dreams of becoming an Engineer. And her father, a casual labourer, ‘casual’ not an adjective of his choice but a hand-me-down from life.

For their family, electricity is a luxury like sushi; kerosine, an expensive alternative, like an overpriced auto ride is an avoidable indulgence.

I came across her life on a leisurely Sunday afternoon, having eaten my fill; lethargic to even switch on the tv, I read about her life from a page that the fan chose to open for me. It was Coincidence in her Sunday best.
I am not a social worker, I don’t like the implications. I work for myself, to cushion my life.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance-Confucius

Now that I know, I imagine what a 1000 rupees, pocket change really for one of my ‘fun’ weekends, could give this girl, who dreams from the darkness of the room she calls home-a month’s expense and more considering her family of five earns 5000. For her father who knows no magic to make those 5000 rupees stretch over books, uniforms, sick days and the big dreams of his little treasures.

“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”-Nelson Mandela

To imagine that a thousand rupees that I could add ‘mere’ as an adjective to if I thus chose, could help a little girl achieve her dream. I was a little girl a while back and I had dreams that I didn’t necessarily follow but I never had to worry about how my parents would manage the logistics of. I now remember the freedom of dreaming without logistics. But that’s an irreclaimable innocence.

2 thoughts on “Irreclaimable Innocence”

  1. Beautifully written words as usual…with the words of Confucious adding highlight to your post. I like how you sympathize your spending compared to what little the girl has, yet you do not seem to be apologizing for what you had just spent your money on — you take the situation as something to help you learn not to take your life for granted, rather than be ashamed as to how you live.

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