Childhood

I was digging through some old stuff, old remembrances – photographs and all. I came across my very old write-ups. And then I have been watching The Kite Runner in bits and pieces since yesterday. Before I proceed, here is something that I had written years ago –

“The beggar kids spread on the floor like litter. They did not know how to read a b c d, how to play, how to wear clothes, how to remove the snot accumulating around their tiny black noses, how to comb their lice-ridden dry blonde hair. But they knew the art of begging. Right from the day they were born.”

My two current bosses have adopted children. In America, people prefer adopting kids from third world countries. One reason could very well be that the third world countries have many destitute kids, whom the government does not give a fuck about either. That is something that I look up to, as a reasoning, because I have mostly come across people who would rather be charitable toward the people of their community, and not give a damn if the rest of the world goes to hell. For them it’s only about saving taxes, and getting brownie points from their Gods. But the main reasoning is, American law requires the legal guardians to let the real guardians of the child meet with each other, if the latter wish to. Most people would not be comfortable with this arrangement. Anyway, I want to talk about something else.

When I was way younger, I used to read on glossy magazines and newspapers about all the famous people who used to adopt kids, and how some used to narrate those stories with a smile on a face, and warmth. I would shudder. I remember one particular story, where the woman said – there were many babies in cradles. All were sleeping. Just one baby had her eyes wide open, and she was smiling. She was so beautiful, I knew it had to be her.

Did she pick up the most beautiful baby? Would she have picked someone else, had she known the IQs of the babies too? I do not know. May be I am being too harsh on her, and may be she meant it in a different way. What about the rest of the babies? That was the only question I was always left with.

The worst thing that could happen to anyone is a scarred childhood. No child should be devoid of love, food, education, home, warmth. A child who is deprived of its childhood is the most suffering soul. A troubled teenager, a lovelorn fellow, an old man with a bent back, a woman without any rights, a soldier returning from a war, all are the true sufferers. But a child without a childhood is a soul lost forever.

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