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Photo by MarioGuti / iStock.
Photo by MarioGuti / iStock.

I am told it was the best moment of their lives

When my parents saw my pretty little face, they say they forgot all strife

They loved me, adored me I felt I was the most blessed child

They made me feel special, beautiful, strong, dignified, let me have fun, allowed me to get wild

In the world I grew up in, I was only a human

I had a face and a name and was recognized by it, it didn’t matter whether I was a man or a woman

I had a body and a skin that had some color

Whether it was black or white or a shade in between, any consequence it had, to us it never even occurred

So engrossed were we in shaping our minds

Brimming with ideas, discussing, debating, thinking, reasoning, proud of our ‘aha’ moments, hungry to know, hungry to learn, hungry for knowledge, hungry for more and more that we could find

Me and my four buddies, we were on cloud nine that day

All of us together had grabbed that chance, we had finally made our way

To that temple of learning, the best in the world everyone used to say

We had been selected to satisfy our quest for knowledge, we would be interacting with the stalwarts, they were the best of the day

With dreams in our eyes, wanting to drown ourselves in the sea of knowledge we were headed for

With spring in our steps, we galloped ahead, there was no looking back now that we had got what we had aimed for

We landed in the land that housed the most ancient of civilizations, the land that was revered, the land of love, the land of hope, the land that accepted one and all with open arms and thus spread its name in all directions

This land housed the temple of learning

It was going to be our alma-mater for the next four years, it held within itself the answers to all our yearnings

Just a few days into our new world we had been

Walking the streets exploring the land, with all the newness we were just so keen

In our unblemished joy, we had had probably become blind

To those uncomfortable stares that greeted us everywhere from every pair of eyes we could find

We were treading along joyfully, oblivious to the lurking danger

And then it happened….in a jiffy we were on the ground surrounded by angry faces that couldn’t have looked stranger

What happened thereafter still seems like a nightmare that couldn’t be real

We were kicked, we were beaten, we were abused, paraded naked, and then dumped, left to fend for ourselves, with the hurt and pain solely ours to bear

Long after the shock, the physical pain and hurt had subsided

We were still clueless on the crime we had committed and the hatred by which the mob was guided

Not that when we learned of the reasons, we were any better aware

Of the rationale, the logic, the reason of this behavior; Our prized possession, our minds, just refused to hear

That the colour of our skins could have led to such brutality

That it could have triggered such extreme hatred that could wipe away all clarity

The clarity of thoughts, the clarity of conscience, the clarity of minds, and that of the hearts

That keeps one whole, that keeps one human, prevents one from breaking up into a thousand parts

One part worshipping skin colour, the second one caste, the third worshipping religion and the fourth one class

The list doesn’t end here it goes on and on till the time there are countless parts and sub-parts and sub-sub parts that it becomes impossible to count

That Whole, that One, that Complete, that Independent Entity

That used to be called ‘Human’ that proudly stood up tall for nothing but ‘Humanity’

That Whole was lying around broken into hundreds of thousands of parts

It still didn’t deter us enough to lose all faith that our rational minds had taught us would always last

We now knew that the times were tough, that it would not be easy

We would have to struggle hard, would have to pay a price that was far from measly

But the day would dawn when we would witness that world again

That carefree world of ideas, of our debates, our discussions, our dissents, our inventions, a world where only love, respect, dignity, life and the ones called ‘Humans’ would reign

Nivedita Dwivedi is pursuing MA in Elementary Education from Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

3 Comments

  1. Surely, We would witness that world again..!!

  2. Pratap Antony says:

    We wish humanity would assert itself again. It is difficult to be optimistic, but optimism for ‘humanity’ and a world without prejudices and anger and hatred is desirable and we wish and hope that we rise up to “a world where only love, respect, dignity, life …would reign”. Humanity must reign over ourselves. ‘Humans’ do not have the right to reign over anything.

  3. K SHESHU BABU says:

    When we come into the world, we are ‘ identty’
    As we grow, we see ‘ enmity ‘
    As grown up youths, we witness ‘ animosity’
    And as we grow old, we realise the value of ‘ humanity ‘ ..!

    If we realise, from the childhood, the virtue of ‘ humanity’
    We would not pass through ‘ enmity, animosity, atrocity or brutality’