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A Song for Baalu Adda

“I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.” - Anne Frank

This week’s story was told by Blessy, who heads the project Bhamini. In one of her classes in the BaaluAdda slum, she had to stall the class and just listen to her students speaking. She came back and wrote to me about the class. As I read the story, it was so moving that it sounded so poetic to me. So I decided to make the narration as a poem.

I have used some poetic liberty like imageries and hyperbolism, which will be evident to you while reading. However I have the last paragraph of the narration as it is, so that you might get glimpse of the write-up in its original form.

I’m confused! Perplexed by a whelming pain.

Slums! She is born into,

Garbage! She walks into


She has become!

Fragility! Thy name is woman.

Prospered in hurt; vain in grief,

Oh! How I wish…

How I wish they knew His power.

Alas! Plenitude of a word

Never comforts her.

Diljaan tucks her Saree helm- a bundled, collected cloth.

Over her shoulders, around her ghastly frame,

A sigh, and for a smile she’s come.

“I’m relieved that I have these classes”

She narrates her woes in a million sounds.

On and on she goes- hiccups and groans

And pause

But the story is still being said and sad

Tears can tell the rest;

Sufia interjects; impatient to begin hers:

“I wait a thousand hours under the sun;

An entire lifecycle for this my time.

This is fantasy; It can’t be real.

A few drugged seconds of this,

And I’ll be queen. But

The cycle ends at the start.”

But my heart grew faint with Nasmeena;

As she narrated her Will and Strength:

“I pulled my trolley, in early morn

To sky touched buildings and distant homes

My spine is a spindle where muscles braid

An earning to feed my hungry birds

As I swept the dust, the dirt, the discarded food

Plastic, boards, pencils, covers,

Rags, mugs, hair and leaves,

And ho ho.. So much ... so much more,

Then she sulked and paused a while

“Husband’s gone to our village now

Its long; he’s got no money to win

a railway journey back.

Be back with me, and be mine again.”

Her eyes were grooved; exhaustion strains

Her six months belly is hard on her.

She twitched her neck, to a restless spirit.

I asked if she would go home now.

“But ma’am,” she quipped.

“ I had some biscuits before the sun;

And Chai to cheer me up.

But now it is MY time and none

Dare take me from here.

Though no one sees and no one knows

my plight; its mine and

no one cares.

Why waste my time, in simple leisure

When I can learn in fruitful time”

As woe by woe, were told in sequence,

I stalled the classes and lend my ears

We, the women of Bhamini might

Never give that assurance

Of a beauty in life or safe future

But we are those rays of morning hope

In whom they rest and replenish

Their strength to live another day

Of a painfully accepted life.

If God has hand-picked little women

As engines of power then

Who will challenge his choice?

As resting place for the weary

Servitors and volunteers are we

Srishti, Sheelam, Archana

Niharika, Sharmila, Tara

And Aunty Snehamala

Selflessly gave their lives

humbled I am to lead a team of God

his hands and feet in this lowly world.

And thus are the power of God!

I am humbled to help this team move forward in being God's hands and feet in this world. .. I am reminded of the miracle that the woman with an issue of blood received. She had no hope in where to find healing where to find solace.. that's when she saw Jesus and ran to receive her healing by just touching the hem of his garment. Pushing away all her shame and pain..all that she sought was Jesus and the rest that He alone could give her. We as Bhamini are grateful to God for letting us be that channel of that rest for troubled and hopeless women like those at the slums.. we are not doing a job to be rewarded for..we are serving our God by serving His people and that's an honor and a blessing..

I hope you have enjoyed the story. I am extremely happy to write this story. God bless you. Thank you so much for supporting JanPragati. We really value your support.

- By Blessy N. Sam



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