Friday, July 2, 2010

childhood of violence

I’ve experienced death winning over life, horror movies happening in life, suicide of morals and murders of humanity. I’ve seen selfishness taking control of judgments, and corruptions spoiling societies… these things aren’t new to me. but still… still there are some more horrible things I can’t forget those I’ve seen… and my visit to remand home here was one of these heart breaking incidents.

At the entry, directly before the gate there was a prison mimicking a crowded cage. And there were the kids, small boys of innocent ages…. But the innocence had been wiped out of their faces by strokes of their fates; and their bodies were reflecting the wounds and scars and roughness gifted to them by the harshness of life they had experienced. They weren’t crying, there wasn’t a trace of sadness, but there were vague laughter indicating either their emptiness or cruelty like that of the Joker in movie Batman. Like adult prisoners these juniors were also having specific dull uniforms… but they were also torn flashing the fresh bleeding wounds underneath them, maybe these were products of their recent fights. And there were flies, hovering around their wounds, faces and the bodies, but the bodies of the kids were careless about them. Inside the cage there was their well-categorized society with at least two gangs, and bosses, and servants and slaves…

The histories of the little criminals were also like them, violent and hopeless… a 14 yr. had killed a man and another 10 yr. old boy was there for raping an infant. Drug addiction, thefts, and fights were the common crimes over there and some were there only because they were products of criminals and some were runaways from their so called homes. The family histories of many of them were not known, as they were reluctant to talk, they only language they knew had nothing but commands for their fellow prisoners…

Outside the cage, where criminals were not allowed, the environment wasn’t much different. There were criminals whose only crime was that they were born, and were still alive… they were orphans or semi orphans or children of parents who couldn’t raise them. They weren’t living in a cage… it was something more fearsome. It was a big hall, dark, and underground, like a vault with old windows unable to be opened. Their torn bedsits forming their beds were covering the nakedness of the floor with partially broken, uneven tiles. And big rusted iron trunks with or without locks were forming their cupboards. Their properties? Half of red Lifebuoy soaps preserved and used carefully, or unused- as they used to get such one piece of soap once in four months, and a dirty bottle filled at various levels in different trunks with equally dirty oil, it was the coconut oil they were supposed to use for their scalps, broken comb one for each trunk, torn dirty towels, and clothes matching the towels, the trunks of girls had one more thing in addition to these, it was slice of Shikakai soap given to them to ‘clean’ their long hair, once in fifteen days. And the ‘rich’ ones had either a pen or a pencil, or an extra slate.

I couldn’t get a chance to see their food, but it same for the caged and non- caged ghosts of kids. They were just living, some were attending schools nearby, and some used to beg at the school time, for an extra chocolate.

There were no parents, no relatives, the hall had only kids of different ages, and the guards there were the only adults present. Official care was there, daily morning prayers, play and exercise hours for the little ones, and occasional visits by politicians giving them ‘sweets’ or stale ‘fruits’. But there wasn’t what we call ‘love’… I searched for it… but couldn’t see it. The dreadful thing I saw while searching it was that some out of prison boys were the slaves of the caged bosses, bringing Gutkha and tobacco packets for their rulers.

I don’t know whether, and I can’t find out, whether their brains can digest something tender or complicated like ‘love’. Their brains seemed to be deprived from this stimulus since… or maybe since before their birth.

I was there, crying for my own fate… thick skinned, hard minded medico of first year, a person who was used to dissect dead bodies of humans and playing with real human bones… but still dead bodies of those living childhood less children, made my tear glands to secret some drops of tear. I was there only for two hours. I wanted to learn about them more, to study the reasons of violence, but never got permission or a positive response. The only thing I could do and I still do it continuously, is to slow down my bike while passing from the road before the gate and to look at the cage and the cage birds and their slaves, as it lands in my road to hostel… they also have a television in that cage, which almost always shows violent fights of WWF…
Four and half years have passed since my visit to that place… but nothing seems to be changed, the cage, the kids and their condition, the violent television, and my helpless nature, and also my deep painful yet useless feeling to change this.

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