One Bombay morning, walking on the road leading to the Strand bookstore, I saw a little family: A mother, with wild and ragged hair, walking with a baby boy, maybe a year old, fast asleep on her shoulder, leading by the hand another boy, maybe four or five, the boy rubbing his eyes with the fist of his free hand. He was walking the way children walk when they have been walking a long time; his legs jerking outward, his head nodding in a circle, to beat the monotony, to beat the tiredness. They were all barefoot. They might have been walking like this for hours. The mother said something gentle to the older boy, still clutching fast to her hand. I had walked past them, but then I had to stop. They came up to a stall, and, as I expected, the mother held out her hand. The stall owner did nothing, didn’t acknowledge them. Automatically I found myself opening my wallet. looked for a ten, then took out a fifty instead, and walked up very fast up to them, my insides raging, and thrust the fifty in her hand, "Yes, take this," and walked on without looking back, till I got to the air- conditioned bookstore and then stood in a corner and shut my eyes.There are more excerpts on the CRY site, here, and we also have the full speech, for anyone who's interested. Leave a comment with your email address, or drop us a mail.
Friday, 15 July 2005
An excerpt from Suketu Mehta's speech at a CRY convention in New York, where he also announced a legal defense fund for Indian street kids that he has set up.