Friday, January 30, 2009

Posted by Deeba PAB

"The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope."
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
India has been in the news on the book & film front of late, & this time, the underdog & poverty are coming to the forefront. Am currently reading Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (Winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize), which talks about India’s underbelly, dominated by poverty, in a really engaging narrative. I’m halfway through the book & admire the way this young man presents his story; fiction, but for us living here, very much the reality!
We are also just back from seeing Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire', a low budget, love story, with all the trappings of a typical Indian masala film. Inquisitive to feel the hype for ourselves, we were astounded & amazed at the film. Perfect in every frame, fast paced, technically good, & above all touching the life of the common man in Mumbai, sometimes in a heart-wrenching manner. For me, it was the heart that beats. A film that left me with mixed raw emotions, so much poverty, so much deceit in the underbelly, so much despair, but then again, hope conquers all as the film wraps up.
Why am I talking about this?
It’s about sensitivity & compassion - To accept what we know, to open a window for the children to step out of their protected spheres, & look at other aspects of life. We took the kids to see the film with us, despite many telling us that the language was inappropriate etc. But reality is reality, & when presented in such a cutting edge manner, it is imperative that we appreciate life in every avatar, & learn compassion. The film was a lesson of life delivered in just 2 hours. In a nutshell…touching! Here is a small story about little Rahul. The past few days I’ve been going to the bus-stop to drop the son for school as it’s been foggy every morning. Each day we wait at the stop, & alongside is a little temporary shanty where a man sits by a small wood fire, boiling milk & making chapattis/flatbread, with a toddler in his lap. It’s freezing cold, but the man, who is a watchman / chowkidar, follows the same routine every morning, & the little kid adoringly follows his father. My son watches with me, & last night I found him diving into his toy box. He was quite affected by the daily scenes, more so after watching the film. He pulled out some toys, & asked his sister to put a bag together for the little fellow. We dropped the stuff by this morning…the JOY on the little mites' face was untold. He first stared at us unbelieving, then gently came up & took this car, & the other stuff. The next 10-15 minutes were pure happiness for both father & son. The father, passionate in his care for the boy, heated the little ones shoes in front of the flickering flames, before putting them on the bare feet.
My heart is heavy, but I’m glad my kids feel compassion, & understand economic & social disparity in their own small ways. It’s little things that make a difference, & hopefully many of ours will lead to change the world one day.
"Compassion is the radicalism of our time."
HH the Dalai Lama

This post was written by Deeba /p>

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: We look forward to hearing your ideas.


Wow, great post. We live in an affluent area in the UK where poverty like this is something we could only see in films. It's great that your children showed such compassion and so truly sad that they had to. We watched Slumdog Millionaire on Saturday night, a very moving and thought provoking film.

January 30, 2009 at 10:01:00 AM GMT+1  

Deeba! India has always been a culture of such opposites. I am also always touched by such scenes and kudos to your kids for being so compassion! Hug them from me!

Meeta K. Wolff said...
January 30, 2009 at 11:48:00 AM GMT+1  

an extremely thought-provoking post. i am deeply moved

Maria Verivaki said...
January 30, 2009 at 5:03:00 PM GMT+1  

Such a beautiful and heartfelt post. We need so many more people like you in this world.

giz said...
January 31, 2009 at 6:46:00 PM GMT+1  

Great Post Deeba! I am so proud of your little boy! Its great that he has learnt compassion and the beauty in giving at a young age. There IS hope for the future!

Dharm said...
February 3, 2009 at 10:11:00 AM GMT+1  

What a great post. During these trying times, it gives me hope that children still have that much compassion in their hearts. I am proud of your son. I can't wait to watch the movie.

Anonymous said...
February 5, 2009 at 9:01:00 AM GMT+1  

Post a Comment