Wednesday, December 19, 2007


This one's for Manu -thanks for visiting the blog when even I had almost forgotten about it.
(I know you visited for the links, though)

The little girl made her way to my bike slowly, clutching a bunch of red and white Christmas caps with a vacant expression on her face which you couldn’t help but pity. But if you knew about the begging mafia and human trafficking you’d know that as genuine as it seemed, that expression was as much intended… actually forced. The caps were soiled perhaps by her hands, perhaps being exposed to
Bangalore’s pollution all day long. It’s scary to realize it’s the same air we breathe.
“How much for one?” I asked her, more to humor her, than with any intention of buying. “Twenty rupees”, she replied. “Where are you from?” I then asked. “Rajasthan”, she replied. That’s one of the key features of human trafficking - get people from places as far as way as possible so that they don’t have a chance in hell of getting any help from the locals. The victims wouldn’t know the language, the culture and most likely the way back home. “Zillabundi”, she said interrupting my thoughts. I frowned indicating that I didn’t quite understand. “Zilla Bhundi”, she repeated more slowly this time. “Ahh… Bundi” I said after a moment with a flash of recognition.
And that shred of familiarity that I displayed with her home town lit up her eyes so beautifully… banishing away that pitiful vacant look of hers almost as if it hadn’t existed at all.
The stoplight changed to green and I started to move again happy that I made a little girl far far away from home smile.
PS This piece is brought to you by Airtel. Well, obviously not. It’s brought to you by me but Airtel could sure use this incident.


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