will M's tomorrows be safe..


M is busy learning.. he is lost in his own world, and as serious about his work as any other child.. wonder what is going on in his little head..

If we look around us, it is difficult to predict what might happen to M, who belongs to a poor migrant labour family.. but let us give it a try:

He could become be the President of India, or an unemployed daily wage labourer.. or maybe something in between, let us say the equivalent of what would be in times to come the equivalent of a courrier boy.. as that seems to be a great favourite these days..

Along the way, he may dream of being a cricketer or a film hero.. as these seem to be the few role models left.. parents and teachers have lost the right to being those one aspires to emulate.. anger and frustration can make him want to be a cop or a politician.. but the wrong kind.. and then dreams fade as reality bites, and one takes on what one can get... an infernal spiral that makes you the part of the faceless crowd..

There are other possibilities, far grimmer ones, also fuelled by dreams - of a cellphone, a dazling bike a MP3 player, a credit card, and M could then be swayed by some extremist group and adopt wrong ways and find himself part of some misguided pack.

And even if M held on bravely and continued to learn he could be one of the kids who made this chilling headline in the national press this morning: Another exam suicide...the fourth this month.

Strange that the four children belonged to different social backgrounds from the rich upmarket child, to the poor slum kid, joined on the way by a middle class girl, all united in their fear of failing..

(to be continued..)