“Why are these people sleeping here, in open?” A five-year-old mind amused at the sight of homeless people seeking shelter under the open sky, questioned her mother. Though the busy mother did not bother responding her questioning did not stop there.
“Mom, why do people sleep on road?” Inquisitive brain would not be quelled until it gets the answers knowing her daughter would not keep quiet until answered, “Because they don’t have any place to sleep.” the mother answered; not removing her eyes off the road.
“They don’t have home?” she asked again.
“No they don’t.” mother, with her focus still on her driving, replied.
“Why do they wear dirty clothes?” remembering a lady she had seen outside her school the other afternoon, the little girl went over again.
“It’s because they don’t have any other clothes to wear.” The mother knew what her child would ask next, she answered quickly “And they don’t have money to buy new a one.”
“Where do they take shower?”
“Sweetheart, they don’t have home, they don’t have clothes to wear and food to eat, and they don’t have water to drink, forget about shower. Now will you please stop this interrogation and let me concentrate on what I am doing?” As the overcrowded street was demanding her full concentration, she got her focus back to her wheels.
Fifteen years had gone since that “interrogation”, but the scene never erased from her memory. Every passing day she was brought to new people struggling in the streets. Their hygiene, health, food, clothing riveted her mind. With the adding numbers to her
But there was a day yet to come in her life when these people became the only concern for her. It was an incident that perturbed her to such an extent that she could feel the pain of those survivors fighting their own race to breathe some peaceful and dignified breath.
It was a case of a mentally challenged, speechless woman named Goma, whom she used to see every day on her way to college. Twenty year old Richa was shaken from within when she came to know that the woman in rags she saw twice everyday was raped by some drunkard and was bearing a sixteen week fetus within her. She realized how the only race with brains had turned into a beast for the momentary pleasure. She wanted to help Goma. But the question was, how? She did whatever best she could within her strength. She would often give her lunch box away or sometimes get some extra food packed from home for that lady. This gave her some peace, but not relief from the mental pain she went through at the thought of the miseries life had forced upon that woman. The worst was still to eventuate.
Two months gone, the life within her was grown to twenty four weeks. Richa as usual walked out of the house with extra packet of lunch. On reaching there she saw Goma’s dwelling area was cramped with people. As she grew closer she heard shrill cry of a woman, she scuttled to the place where the cry came from.
Walking through the crowd and as she neared, her eyes were forced to bulge out witnessing the scene before her. Goma was lying in a pool of blood, wrenching her body in pain in regular interval. As she saw me there she hauled herself an inch towards me, and growled in pain. That growling was laden with pain, not just the physical but the mental and emotional anguish of losing the fetus. Suddenly Her body began shuddering violently, “ Call Ambulance,” Richa howled, it was grueling for her to yield the strength just to witness the infinite agony of that woman, to bear it was beyond her imagination.
“it’s on its way” a male voice from the crowd answered.
The crowd stood there helplessly watching the woman in pain, Richa was right next to her, all in tears. And suddenly Goma went silent. The shudder was gone; her cry was no more heard. Goma lay still, in her own pool of blood. Richa stood there staring at her lay lifelessly. Excessive loss of blood took her life away.
Some voice from the crowd spoke “Who knows who the father was? He could be any one from here, watching her suffer.”
“How can a man be so cruel?” Richa’s heart cried out loud……………
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