MG Road :
” Didi, dus Rupaya.” ( sister, ten rupees).
Her eyes were bold and went over my clothes. That day we were returning from some shop, with some things for our new home in Bangalore. I gave her a few coins but her eyes did not leave mine. One eye was black. Like it had been punched.
” Noe, this girl has been beaten.” I whispered to him.
He groaned, knowing full well what I would try next : ask her details. ” Ray, please. There are 15 of them, see ? What are you planning to do now.”
(My husband is Sir Tender-Heart, but with sense. With timing, and reason).
I am not necessarily that way. Without thinking, I replied,”… a Hulla-Hoopers’ Academy that allows these kids to do their thing on Stage. These are entertainers, but they are little girls. They should be in school.”
Before I could finish that sentence, a little boy came over and gave the Hulla- girl a tiny baby. She lifted her shirt and started nursing the child. My sentence just broke in my mouth and the traffic cleared. What a life uh. SO much goes on, so little we can do about it.
I went home and sketched this, remembering her black eye, and what it must feel like, to be so little, to be punched in the face, to nurse a baby, to dance in the streets…
this morning, someone I thought was a friend, verbally punched me in the face.It took me a while to recover, and I remembered this little street girl. How tall she stood. With that big bruise in her face. In her eye.
She danced, did her thing, earned her daily wage. How tough it must be to live your life in the streets. How soft our own lives are, with doors and vents, watchmen and families. And yet, so much to learn. SO much to learn, from our streets.