Sunday, June 12, 2005

andha ponnu.

its a house lit up in festivities. there are little fairy lights even on the trees in the garden. the street rings with the joyous cacophony of children playing. its a large hall, filled with wealth and people. the aunties and uncles sitting around in chairs, making conversation in spurts whenever the children's noise will allow them to.

in that crush of children, there stands one little girl alone, totally out of place in her simple skirt and darned shirt amidst the others' cinderella dresses and spiderman costumes. what really wrings your heart is the string of brightly coloured beads around her throat. a silent bid for childhood. shes "andha ponnu".

she is a live-in servant, looking after the child of the house. shes barely taller than her ward. maybe a few years older, certainly not as privileged. her frail shoulders support the responsibility of playing nanny to the child. she wipes its nose when its got a cold, runs to fetch its toys, to pick up its diapers, or frocks, or hairpins as it sheds them with gay abandon...

its not that shes beaten by the family you know - they do feed her well, give her clothes, help her earn and support her family. its just that her social life is to watch the children play from the shadows of the balcony. her family life is to sit in the front in the car as the child is cuddled by the mother behind her in the rear seat.

she always lives only on the fringes - a wraith of denied and deprived childhood.

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15 Comments:

Blogger Arch Storm said...

hmm...yes thats soo true! its not that she is not well fed or watever, but theres always this line she cannot cross...

5:47 pm  
Blogger morpheus said...

True!! a yr older and u still make sense...lol...im gonna get beaten up for this....so..shall put greatest escape..goundermani style!!!

5:55 pm  
Blogger annie said...

now you've got me all upset again :-(
but glad you notice... glad someone else notices these things.

11:32 pm  
Blogger Vitalstatistix said...

This is not just specific to child nannies. Even a 40 year old live-in nanny will not have any social life or family life.

12:12 am  
Blogger ~phobiac~ said...

hey....great write up !!.....

yeppadi ippadi-yellam...uhn ??

1:22 am  
Blogger Eroteme said...

Hmmm nice. Lots of emotions rolling along with words. I liked this because this wasn't like your earlier pieces which were presented in a factual manner.
Very poignant issue presented very well... :-)

1:38 am  
Blogger S. said...

I am so itching to say what I want to say but it might be so out of the mood of the post and the comments that followed that I shall shut up....*walking back tail between legs*

3:30 am  
Blogger m. said...

@archstorm: strange how tangible that invisible line is, isnt it

@morpheus: dai, 22 does not mean im senile! :p blathering is totally independent of age yknow!

@annie: hey! :) yes, i know - not very chirpy, but its always bothered me so..

@vitalstatistix: thats true. its just that it seems more tragic for a child - not even memories to console him/herself with.

@phobiac: thanks :)

@eroteme: tchah, emotions? im slipping. maybe morph was right...! ;) "i liked this because it wasnt like your earlier posts" : boohoo! now i know who doesnt like my blog :(( hehe... thanks neway!

@misha: yeah, i know what youre dying to say and i wouldve booted you if you had! good girl... zipper up at least here! :P

4:30 am  
Blogger Vetti Guy said...

Lets face it.....all of us know what kind of problems people are facing in this world. Just writing sentimental mushy stuff and feeling sorry for them aint gonna help anybody.Maybe will keep our conscience quiet for sometime at the most.Even if we decide to do something, its mostly to feel good about ourselves and not due to a genuine concern for the under-privileged.Who wants to spare time to listen to other's troubles? I am pretty sure that women like Shabana Azmi are doing this social work just because of all the publicity they get.Mother Theresa had a hidden agenda of converting those she helped to Christianity.There arent no angels out there.Your view?

8:37 pm  
Blogger S. said...

Better a devil who will do something constructive albeit for personal gains than an angel who will just sit and spew philosophy..

12:38 am  
Blogger krishna canchi said...

@"the mystic":
azmi is publicity-crazy.
mother theresa had a hidden agenda.
so, wats the point? wats ur agenda? to suggest useful ideas on how to "do something concrete than just crib" or to just create a sensation by digressing from the topic and defaming great souls like mother teresa??

4:23 am  
Blogger m. said...

@the mystic:

do we know all the problems in the world today? very impressive. i wish it were true!

you feel sentimental mushy stuff wont help anyone... so dont read or write it yourself!! :) each to their own, mystic.

some people have a hidden agenda. so who is to judge how open a person is, what their real motives are or why they behave in a certain way? if someone does something good, i think thats great.

ive heard this ultra cynical viewpoint before, and i reject it. in my reality there are decent humans.

5:08 am  
Blogger Vetti Guy said...

@ Misha,Krishna Canchi and m.,

My aim is not to stir up a debate or create a sensation.Those were just what I felt about the topic under discussion.Nothing more.Nothing personal.

Ask yourselves honestly,dont we know the basic problem facing humans? Concentration of resources with a small percentage of people who are not generous enough to share it with the have-nots.You can do your bit by not keeping more than what is required for you. But have any of you done it? Just joining a service organisation is glamorous and makes us feel superior to those who are callous.Also it gives us that rebel feel which is kinda nice.And we assume we know what is good for others.We are wrong most of the time.We end up making them dependant on our help and that is just making the situation worse, isnt it?
If any of you had seen the episode in Koffee with Karan where Shabana Azmi appeared,you would be agreeing in my assesment of her motives.And Mother Theresa is NOT the angel we think she is.Its always nice to hear that there are some selfless souls out there but it is not often the reality.Did you know that she would force the people in her shelter to convert? It is true.She was convinced that Christ is the only reality and hence was felt that she knew what was best for everyone.These kinds of poeple are the dangerous kind.Anyways, these are just my opinions which I offered in this open forum.Anything wrong with that?

I am not one of those cynical people who rubbish things for the sake of doing it.Even i would like to see a better world with equal oppurtunities for everyone.But i am also conscious that by not doing my bit,I am still contributing to the appalling situation that exists currently.There is a need for people who are without any agenda in life.Those who are not ambitious.Because we all have our life planned out and helping others is going to come in the way isnt it? So we do the next best thing-discuss their problems in newspapers/TV shows/blogs while carrying on with our lives as it was.This is what I wanted to point out.

Anyways, if you dont want to, i will refrain from commenting in the future on this blog.Afterall, its your space and I wouldnt want to intrude.

6:05 am  
Blogger Senthil said...

Whoa! We have ourselves a heated discussion! Eeenteresting. I shall watch this space.
Meanwhile, M, nice work - the passage painted a very vivid mental picture.

2:08 pm  
Blogger morpheus said...

Totally with u senthil.....the posts here start of fine...and then outta the blue..there'r all these nice views which makes for real interesting reading. Im gonna join in on the 'watchin this space' club.

8:15 am  

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