We had team lunch at Restaurant Kumarakom, Velachery, Chennai last monday. I reached the restaurant at around 12:45, parked my bike outside the restaurant and was about to call one of my colleagues when I was interrupted by a kid. The kid was carrying a handful of sketch books and was pleading me to buy one. I disconnected the call and told the kid that I have nothing to do with these books and asked her to look for someone else who would buy the books. The next few words she spoke were shocking. She said – “Bro, you need not buy any of these books. Please buy me some food. I’m starving”. Those were not easy words to digest. I got back to my senses with my mobile phone ringing. I answered the call from my colleague, looking out for the kid who was talking to me just a few minutes ago. I found the kid having already crossed the road and pleading people on the other side of the road. There was plenty of food available just a few meters away as the restaurant was nearby. Someone had hidden all this food from her eyesight. So near, yet so far.
The other day I saw a kid getting down from a yellow ferrari at the American institute situated on the same road. It feels so good to see a ferrari in Chennai. But what did this kid do that the other kid did not. How life looks so different for two kids on the same road. The road was the same, but were they heading in the same direction? Poverty at this tender age is so hard to live with.