The guilty idiot ~ that I am!
But today what I saw was pathetic & more annoying. This took place in one of the public toilets – in Chennai. Oh come on, this is not yet another complain on sanitation…but a humanitarian crisis! And no joke!
While in the morning…say at around 9 or so…we reached this place & 2 of us wanted to use the rest room. So we went & paid the money to a really VILLI looking fat lady(More like the one who keeps speaking filthy dialogs in tamil movie- kasthuri maan) in the counter & walked in. I observed a small girl – not a kid though… an adolescent –say some where between 12 to15 years of age. She was sitting on the floor & washing some clothes. This very sight was not very comfortable to see… How could someone wash the clothes in public rest room & use it? Alright…not my business & may be this is a better place for this girl to wash. And I noticed she was not wearing a very comfortable wear. It was more like the slips/(Commonly called as)shimmi ....that is generally worn as an inner garment but yeah- kids do roam around wearing that, because it looks more like a sleeveless frock. But is generally not a comfortable wear to come out in public with. I smiled at the girl in embarrassment when she looked up at me. And we left & had our long day spent in the longest way we could have. And yes – it was a wonderful day until we returned to the same spot that morning…yeah the same restroom. In the evening at around we reached this place & co1 wanted to wash her face. So we went to the same place again. Now me & co 2 stayed back outside. And the (gundu villi) fat lady with villain looks had few other men talking to her. Co 1 came back in few minutes and said … “Hey ..the girl you told about this morning – remember??She is still in there washing- in same state, now looking even more pathetic. She is not properly dressed yet! I wonder if she even came out for lunch.”
I was shocked to hear this and told my co’s that I shall go, check if she is good and get back. My Co1 got really mad at me & said “We cannot trace this every day & secure her forever. Now do not try something heroic and get us all into trouble. Look at that lady- she looks like she can smash the 3 of us in one go. And don’t u dream I will come for help. We are here alone. Remember that!”
Hahaha…I know about co1- She would be the first to come to scene :D & to rescue in case I get in trouble…..But yes- i knew the fact she is saying.
Me- “But then I think I really want to go. U got to go when u got to go…please ,give me some change. I will be right back”
When I entered the restroom I was expecting not very serious about this hoping there may be a better answer. I entered & yes she was right there – same posture & with a pile of clothes. Now most of them wet(she had finished washing) – and she was not properly dressed yet. This time I couldn’t keep quiet.
I tried to talk cool with this little girl …. This is what happened …
Me: Dey! Morning
The girl: Amaam’ka siricheengaley!
Me: Amaam… :) Sari! Innum enna panra?? Dressum mathikala… Yaravadhu ula varaporanga.
The girl: (Simply smiled)
Me: Sari… Veliya poniya – saptiya…? Ilati inga dhan irukiya kalailerndhey? Dress panitavadhu velaya paren! :)
The girl: Inga dhan irundhen’ka.Dress irukkuuuuuuu – veliya amma vechurukaanga. Idhelaam thuvachu mudikanum…apram dhan…(someone came in)
We both looked – I was near the wash basin. It was that (gundu villi) Fat lady- who was chatting with few men outside.
She stared at the little girl & spoke to her something in a different language- I couldn’t understand. It wasn’t tamil/telugu/hindhi/Malayalam/kannadam. It was not any of the familiar language. And her tone wasn’t very good. And as she spoke the girls face frowned. And then Villi left. And then I tried to see her …she wasn’t looking up at all. She was again back to scrubbing the clothes. She wasn’t ready for a conversation or she was not allowed to have one…..
Me: Sari..dress paniko mudhala- aprama poi edhavadhu saapdu
The girl: (Looked up at me – with a confused face & din’t utter a word. Simply nodded & tried hard to smile)
Me: (Smiled back & walked out now even more confused ,annoyed & angry)
When I came out, I looked at the place where this fat lady was sitting- so that I could try talking to her. She was still chatting with those men. They dint seem very friendly either. I wished she was alone- so could have made some attempt to talk to her.
And I turned back this side to look at my co’s.
:O What I saw this side was even more a vili looking angry girl! Yeah that’s co1. She found out – even with out me uttering a word. And as I neared they asked “ Why maruthu…we told you. It is like that. Look at your face! It looks pathetic. You need not have … ”Co1 seemed really annoyed however co2 tried to convince me…
Bloody hell!! Don’t we see what this is- CHILD ABUSE!!! As defined - Child abuse is the physical or psychological maltreatment of a child, often synonymous with the term child maltreatment or the term child abuse and neglect. Some definitions also include the abuse of children by other children or by themselves . It is happening right here – in front of us! I felt like I was so damn useless.
We could clearly see what is happening….The child was literally being tortured.
From morning 8+ till evening 4:45pm a small girl sitting inside all alone with no proper dress, No food, No one inside with her, No water, and almost all that she does is scrub-wash- rinse…. scrub-wash- rinse…. scrub-wash- rinse…. scrub-wash- rinse….
Won’t a human being go crazy when subjected to something monotonous & cruel like this? And she is hardly 15 may be or even less. What did she do to go through this? And the pile of clothes!! Oh my god! I don’t think even you & I would have washed so much in a day – even if we had washed our own family members clothes!
Now I was in a state of confusion…co1 looked like she is gonna turn me into ashes & my inner voice told that they have a point.
Come on – we are three young girls who have come all alone – with no back up & this place was deserted too. Also the fat lady is not alone – she has company. And the way she sounded inside…MaaaaaaaaaaaaN - am not going to near her alone. Also when she looked at me – it dint seem very much like she would encourage a talk. And am no good at street fight- or should I say fight! My back up dnt seem very comfortable either. And in case we went to talk to her & then she nods an OK. After we leave in case if she is beaten up black & blue?!! Can it get worse…. Can I possibly do something worse than this to that girl?.... atleast now she has her room to be free from pain- assault .
And had I complained to the police man who was around…. What if he simply warns the lady & goes away! Then she beats up the girl for talking to me or even for telling me (Like she did/was let to).
In worst case, she will drag the girl to a different place &make her toil there.
I knew something was going wrong…I knew something is not right…I knew someone was denied the right…A child is denied her right to live her childhood.
And this is humiliation to the girl child!
But that day – I had to walk off…. Come like nothing was wrong. I wish I wasn’t alone there that day! Had appa or My cousin or some grown up been there something could have been done.
I was so incapable! I felt so low- for the selfish creature that I am.
So useless – so self centered – inhumane idiot that I am!
I was elder than that girl….grown up- and I knew what was happening- she knew that I know now….but still I walked away so powerless…so incapable! I lost sleep that night!
I am guilty!!
I feel awful about my behavior – I feel ashamed for what I was not able to do!
And most of all – I am angry with myself ~ the situation ~ the fat lady!
It is better to admit your mistakes than hiding – isn’t it ?? So here I go- I AM CULPABLE!
But this came up. Next post would be that and about the birthday funda-DEAL! :)