The breath of my city is paired with noise. When you have stepped down the train, you meet poor kids and diseased men, pregnant women and disabled old men, kids wrapped in gauze and soiled cotton. The city is so full and rackety that these beggars have to shout and sing and hit the highest notes they can to pull your attention. Hearing them is like hearing nothing at all.
Sadly there is little compassion left if you see the same faces begging every day in the same conditions. They don’t even change roles. The kids keep crying, men and women keep singing and begging for the same reasons day on day, week on week.
The noise doesn’t seem to settle, makes no such promise. There are kiwi and grape sellers, fruit cake sellers, shoe and shirt sellers, mosquito-repellent sellers, auto-rickshaws for hire, all screaming at you, as if they know you are craving and they have it for you.
I have not seen one such family that after benefitting from reservation based on caste had stood up and decided for the next generation to pass up the privilege. So let’s not talk about equality again.