He would serve tea at a common roadside tea stall. He had no other option. Being fatherless and having four other empty stomachs to fill, he would set off in the morning for a dreadful day serving people tea and then cleaning up after him. That’s the story of a boy, barely a teenager, mercilessly overworked, and paid far too less than what he deserved and needed. After running from pillar to post for the whole day, fifty bucks would be thrust into his under-aged, calloused palm. Without a word of comfort or gratitude. For days and days on end. It wouldn’t have been so miserable if his father was alive. If his father hadn’t committed suicide. He would have gone to school, and not to bed with an empty stomach.
Yet, in the midst of hopelessness and exhaustion, he dared to dream. Despite all the obstacles, he went on to achieve what he desired.
At least, he had a happy ending. He had a coach who paid for his medical treatment. He became a roller-skating champion. He was a boy in a Bollywood movie ‘Hawaa Hawaai’.
That’s still a fiction for hundreds of underprivileged children in India. They don’t have a shortcut to make a living. Life is monotonous, and they’re ruthlessly exploited till they break. No guardian, no coach, no philanthropist do-gooder, or no fairy godmother to look out for them, to pay their medical bills and their school fees.
Movies only show reality by toning it down by diluting it. They don’t, can’t show it in its full horror. Tragic incidents happen everywhere, everytime. But it hardly affects us always.
There is almost no one as generous as the good guy in the film, who would take the burden to take a poverty-stricken ten year old to great heights. To break the bonds of poverty for him.
Unreal and fictitious, that’s a way to grab the audience’s attention. A way to make money. Tragedy strikes thousands of people. The poor are its favourite victims. Failure of crops, loss of land, or inability to pay debt is the reason why death knocks the door of hundreds of farmers in India. But there’s nothing that’s being done for it: for the welfare of the orphaned kids, for the prevention of child labour, for the education of children, or for the employment of the unemployed.
A change is needed. We shall bring a change. We will bring a change. Now.