Sunday, November 23, 2008

Strangers Somewhere, Nobody Nowhere!!

A Project Management Consultant by profession with more than a decade experience across most of the industries, work has been the inspiration of my life. I am drawn to projects that are stimulating,challenging and require logical analysis or abstract thinking. My work has taken me across the length and breadth of my country to inroads unknown, to wilderness and every experience has inched me closer to humanity. It might seem strange that though I work on systems, it is the humans associated with the project who have formed a carving niche in my memory lane.

An unforgettable vivid memory is that of a project that shall always remain close to my heart. I was approached by a Trust to automate their processes and develop a work flow management system for them. My first visit to their office happened to be in a chilly evening of November 2004 and the visit left an indelible print in me. The address was the taboo street of Red Light area aka the famous Kamathipura (Mumbai). As I stepped into the lane, I was drawn by the garish make over of the women in all ages from teenagers to middle agers waiting at the door steps lying in wait for their potential customers. Quickly I averted my gaze and ran towards the Trust premises. The Trust works towards providing education and taking care of medical requirements of the children of the prostitutes. It also doubles up as a day-care for the under-privileged in this sect.

Encourse the analysis of the system, I was drawn towards these women who came to see off their children. Curiosity drew the better of me and with the permission of the Trust authorities, I started interacting with them to see their life through their eyes as against my opionated self. Their gut wretching stories moved my soul. We crib about extra hours at hour, work pressures, travelling hazards et al and here they were trading their flesh for mere bucks to earn their livelihood. Not all amongst them were brought into the flesh trade by touts, some had voluntarily stepped in due to the dire straits of their family. The reckless abandon with which they treated their self and the apathy towards their own children were all an outcome of how they have been treated by the so-called civilized men of our society. Many of them did not even know the father of their own child but most of them did know about their proximity to HIV and AIDS, yet it didn't make any difference to them. The way I look upon work as the fulcrum of my life is the way they look upon flesh trade as the fulcrum of their life; the prima facie reason of their sustenance in this man-eat-man world. With every visit to the Trust for the implementation of my project, I grew more and more attached to the special children who were taken care of by the staff of the Trust. I used to play with them, feed them, teach them and feel one with them.

Concern about the uncertainities about their future often shrouded my thoughts and I used to ponder...
  • What wrong have this children done to face a life like this as an outcast of the very society we live in so carefree?
  • What kind of values would they uphold in life?
  • What kind of future would they have to deal with?
  • Would they be normal humans at all?
  • What kind of upbringing would they pass on to their future generations?

The questions seem endless, the answers unknown.
The end of my project evoked a feeling of pangst of seperation from this world that had become a part of me. Little did I know at the onset that this project was to be my most memorable project ever and that it would be an eye opener for me in more ways than one and draw me a step closer to humanity.Now, whenever I find time, I make it a point to spend it with these special children of GOD who are taken care of by the various NGO's in and around Bombay. Hats off to them for their determination and single minded pursuance towards preserving life in all forms.

My sincere salutations...