You must be from Bangalore. Savers would look at you strangely.” (You didn’t say so.) “You must be from a different country.” (Oh, come on.) And when her mother complained to the police that, after all, what would a man do, get his wife drunk on two dozen saffron threads?
The police took away the girl’s two-and-half-month-old baby. The father refused to go. And no, I had not made such a remark. They took the girl to the hospital. “I don’t know what will give you away,” the doctor said. “He is a good boy.” I went to see her in tears. She told me what had happened. The boy came home with bruises and a broken shoulder. The baby is doing fine. What she said will happen to her. I went to the police station as well. When I arrived, a constable told me that I would have to come back for another hearing.
The magistrate issued him a non-bailable complaint and remanded him in jail. I didn’t know it at the time, but the boy’s parents had given him away to an aunt in Chennai. Now, the boy has come to see me and beg me to pardon him. “He says, ‘My family is dead.’ They don’t want you to see me,” I tell them. “No,” the boy says, “I want you to see my mother. She left me when I was four.” He looks me straight in the eye and asks: “Why you do things like that? Why didn’t you get in touch with me?” The magistrate looks at me straight on, and says: “You are a good young man.” (You never said that.)
I have to meet my mother one more time. I haven’t been back to Chennai for two years. He is living with his sister. We haven’t had contact since. The old lady says she couldn’t afford it. She says, “Now my child will never be a human again.”
But my parents are old-fashioned. They are happy. They say I was made to suffer and hurt my family and I should at least know that. They don’t want you to pity me.
I don’t want to be a beggar. I want to change the world.
We’ve all heard the cliche saying that “lots of people are rich”. And for good reason; some of the wealthiest (
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