Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Mir is a little boy of 8 from Afghanistan whose story is being flashed today on National Geographic Channel. In the foreground of a year in his life, the destruction and tragedy of his homeland is recounted.

My children, one aged 9 and the other aged 4 and a half are watching the story. Their eyes are wide with surprise, fear, wonder. Their lips form the questions and then their brain asks another question and they wait till the questions accumulate. We have a rule while watching Discovery and NatGeo – watch the show and ask questions during the commercials. So they watch the boy smile through his poverty and squalid living conditions. They watch him struggle through his fights for survivals. They are amazed at how someone can live with drinking dirty water. How someone can live through so much of cold. But I wonder why never once Rasan and Jai ask me the question about where his TV is. They wonder if he goes to school. They are touched by the hard roti that he has to eat. Jai, with his long experience of life, wants to know why Mir has to pay for his bread.

Rasan asks questions about Bamiyan. Why the statues of Buddha were blasted? Why should someone do anything of that sort? I try to simplify it as much as I can. But it is so hard to tell them why some fundamentalists should try to extinguish the symbols of other religions. She wonders at the caves they are living in, at the dust, at the beautiful flower that has grown in the barrens-in the form of Mir’s little niece. She wonders why Mir’s father keeps hitting him and yet the little one goes on smiling through his beautiful green eyes.

I do not wish to pressurize their minds with the heavy issues of politics. So I leave them alone with their minds working overtime on the issues they are watching. I know Rasan needs a hug and I reach out to her to tell that HER life is okay. I know it will be for many days that I will go on answering their questions on what they saw today. It always happens. One thing at a time….

But they definitely are more sober close to the end of it. I take the opportunity to hit that we all should count our blessings, never say no to food, conserve water by turning the taps off when not required, value our family, thank God for the clothes we wear and the life we enjoy.

As they now sleep on, I feel thankful to God for blessing me with such beautiful, healthy children and a smooth life. At the same time, my heart goes out to Mir and his family. Their heaven is destroyed but the spirit lives on. The reconstruction goes on in Afghanistan. Life never stops….


Sukhjit said...

Ssa pyare didi ji,

Well...I can understand why your kids are baffled with Mir's story. It is hard to fathom that others are suffering to meet ends meet while ours are being met without much hesitation. I know this past trip to India really made me thankful for what I have in America. I have electricity 24 hours a day, readily available drinking water, decent public restrooms and my future depends on my hard work! I was watching a documentary last night on Child Labor in New Delhi. I could not believe how young the children were!!! There were some as young as 7 who were working 15 hour shifts. I was amazed to see the woman in-charge talking as if 7 year old boys working 15 hours is not unusual. Do these people have souls? I could imagine a man being a brute but a woman? These kids, who should be playing after school with their friends were laboring while other kids attended school:-( It hurt to see a little boy crying for his mother. Some kids were left there by relatives others didn't have any family. It was hard to fall asleep after viewing such a show. I think everyone who is well-off, and I don't mean wealthy, but those who can afford to spend a small amount of their earnings or time, should volunteer or help make a less privileged person's life better! God blesses those that bless others! May God continue to enlighten you so you can question society and incite change!


Rajindarjit said...

Dear Mampreet,
I gone through ur blog-Mir and my children.
Thinking about the sufferings of the society is a great feeling.
There r numberless Mirs in ur surroundings on this Globe.
God ne -5 fingers- vi equal nahi rakhian. This difference of size make the hand working, otherwise u can imagine if all were equal.
Similarly God has made all types of persons- black-white, tall-small, rich-poor and so on. So that people should remember Him.
So we must thank 'God' for all the Gifts He has given us- A good house to live in, a nice family
to share with, beautifull children to look after, with plenty of Air to breathe, Water to survive and all kinds of food to enjoy and nature to view with ur eyes and vision.
We can teach to all our concerned- including ur own children- not to waste even a single bite of food, not to think of garbaging it. It will be a great saving for the - have-nots.
U r already on that track to teach them not to waste water even,which has its limited sources.
Thinking over the Global Problems is the need of the day, so u have aptly chosen the way through blog named -Everyday Happenings- to share with like minded people.
God Bless u to pen down much more u have in ur mind to share with.

Anonymous said...

hello manpreet,
it is really tough to see and watch the hard realities of life of those who live without a days meal.we dont have to just pity their lives.let us who eat a stomach full and sometimes even more,resolve to help atleast one person/family to whom we can lend some help.

Sidhusaaheb said...

Glad to know that your children watch these channels on television...These are among my favourites too, along with Animal Planet (I'm sure they'll like that one too, if they start watching it!).

Manpreet said...

Thanks for ur feedback on my blog. Children do give amazing reactions to situations like this by responding to the situation of that kid who was their age mate and not so privileged.
And yes, they do watch Animal Planet.

S.M.A.R.T said...

This is an amazing post.. brought back all my thoughts from "A thousand splendid suns" all over again.

You what is so amazing about being around kids, they give you a perspective, unclouded by context or knowledge and the simplicity stuns you.

I so wish we could feel like this more often about our world...