Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Simply Life

Hey Guys!!!

Two months back, I happened to visit Mumbai. The amount of people and the way they co-exist is indeed mind boggling when we come face to face with that area. But there are certain areas, which divides the rich from the poor. Colaba region is one such area where we find financially high category. The structures in this area and the space they occupy (very quaint and historical) and above all, we feel an aloofness, where an outsider feels alienated. we don't feel like talking to anyone or smiling at anyone.

But there is another place where even an outsider feels like an insider - The Darawi Slums. Here even the vehicles weave without mishap through the throng of people, which literally are jostling and the best part is, all have work, nobody stays idle. The toddlers, the kids, the youngsters, the youth, the middle aged and the old all are busy. I have never seen such a congested area where one has not a foot space vacant. 

There are factories of leather, pottery, paints, food orders, soaps, recycling papers, paint containers, etc... , residential areas and through this there are railway lines, where trains pass by at regular intervals and roads were regular buses ply along with other vehicles. 

The residential area is another cup of tea, the place is so attached to each other, we feel that a small whiff can blow the whole structure away, that much precarious it looks, but it is not so as it has withstood the test of all fury of nature. But the sadness creeps when we see kids sitting on the doorstep looking at life happening in the street which is a foot width and a street dripping with water (as some of the waterline is dripping, its like a perennial drip) and added to that woe, no daylight pierces the gloom over that street (as most buildings are double storied where it joins the two opposite buildings from the first floor) and still the children are quite calm and tranquil.

I have been teaching children ranging from 3 yrs- 17 yrs as a teacher. I have seen the way the children respond when they are allowed to have a play time between class hours and also how they respond when the same activity denied. So when I saw these kids, both boys and girls managing with whatever space they were dished out, I was surprised and I showed my kids, the way they live.

The people in the rich area are all engrossed in maintaining health by walking long steps with swinging hands from one end of the road to the other, the youngsters engrossed in phones and the general ambience is that of fun and idle. 

In Dharawi (slum), all are working, there isn't anyone who stays idle, I walked through most of the area and only below 10 youngsters did I see checking on their phones, the rest all were working. I even saw an old lady cleaning the pots taken off from the kiln, that lady was so wrinkled and so thin, that I was awed by her focus on sustaining herself.

I felt unsafe in the richer area and exactly opposite in the slums. Here in the slums, people work with their bare two hands and earn by the sweat of the brow, no shortcuts, just plain brawns and brains without computers or high tech intelligence but in the richer places, they make others do the job and earn from others sweat, thereby having more money in the pockets and more extravagant in their spending too.

The contrast is so pronounced between these two places that we can also feel the chasm between simple genuineness of the slum and the veiled deception of the upper class.

In the slum, a square foot can accommodate 3- 4 people easily and still they are happy to accommodate some more, on the other hand, if its any other place, it would cause a mayhem.

And the awesome fact, in these slums, there are people from all walks of life from all states of India, which we can differentiate easily by the way they live. In short if ever we need to point an example of Unity in Diversity in India, then I would say - Darawi Slum is an apt place.

Anyway, seeing is believing.

The impression they left in my life with one single walk is indelible.

The Impression - Life is not what we strive for but the way we live with ourselves and with others on a daily basis is what makes a difference in us.

A feeling of warmth and love is generated within us and around us when we are simple.

Hoping, I have helped you understand how much we are missing on life with an apt example of Dharawi.

See you.

Take Care

Meena

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