People of India - My Bioscope - Postcards from India
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Whither Childhood?

This is a picture that I took recently on a rainy Sunday morning while out on a nature walk inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai. While I was strolling inside the park and enjoying the greenery, I came across a house where a boy, seated outside on the rocks, was quietly observing a heated conversation between two people. As I observed closely, I saw that his face was melancholic (probably saddened by the commotion), he was poorly dressed and was looking in a direction away from the bicycle leaning against the house. That's when I took this picture...

Later when I saw the picture on the camera's LCD, it seemed to convey a totally different story (or as any third person who was not present at that moment would wonder) - one of a boy perhaps reflecting upon his lost childhood! The boy would have been out cycling or playing with other kids on any other Sunday morning, but something was holding him back today, something had saddened him. Was it the end of his childhood? Would he soon have to head out in search of work to meet household expenses? Is he going to miss his school in order to work? Or was it that his house was going to be relocated outside the national park and he would miss the surroundings where he spent the best days of his childhood? Or was it just that he was waiting for the sun to come out so that he could play? Or was he just unwell that day and hence appeared weak and sad?

Pictures such as these have the power to create a well of emotions inside us...words will never be able to achieve that!

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