Busy! Busy! Busy! Every one on the road, bus, train, shops and malls moving fast, faster than the jet in the sky.
There is one little thin, brown skinned girl with straight silky hair, dressed in multi-colored chudidar, a parrot green and gray colored back bag, a bottle of water, umbrella, wallet with some money and a lunch box prepared by Aarthi aunty (her 1st mother in Mumbai). She started her journey in a Mumbai local train from Thane to Ghansoli, standing in the middle of many but still alone. Unknown place and not yet familiar with the language (Marathi nor Hindi). It was very difficult for her to accept and move on with her life like others. It’s may be because for the first time she came out from her boundaries of comfort, family, friends, hometown and culture. The new city more or less completely opposite to where she is brought up for 23 long years.
In such a big city, yet she could not get place to eat and sleep at nights, the cost of living very expensive. The rent of paying guest (PG) for a month is unimaginable for her because the amount she pays is equal to her father monthly income. Only for rent, how about food, travel, other necessary expenses? No hope of saving for future. Irritating!
Cost of living, busy and irresponsible behavior of people around, frustrated to eat food which was prepared days ago and preserved in the refrigerator. Especially the roti/chapatti which was prepared a day before, by the time it reached her mouth it was papad. Irritating!
The name plate on the bus is in Marathi and the numbers are so confusing 1&2, 5&7 and others too look the same. By the time she recognized and realized the correct bus, it was gone. Driver is busy, he doesn’t even get what a passenger says, his work is to drive and reach destination on time. Irritating!
After two weeks of staying in such frustrating situations, she realized it’s an opportunity to know, learn, grow, and strengthen her by overcoming the hurdles in the way to achieve something; anything. She learned these from a tall, curly hair, light skinned man who can’t hear nor speak and just passed secondary education, having one and half year old twin little boys. He works with her, travels long distance everyday, earning equal to her. When a so called disabled or differently able person tries to work and train hearing impaired candidates to get jobs and make them feel included in the society with dignity. Between the two of them, she felt more disabled.
His inspiring attitude, work, smile, and supportive nature made her think and subtly accept the fact that whatever happens, life has to move on towards change and with hope of improvement. This was my first 2 weeks in Mumbai working with host organization Youth4Jobs that works out of the Helen Keller Institute for the deaf and deaf-blind – as part of my fellowship.