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"To the kid at the station: you taught me a lesson!"
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"To the kid at the station: you taught me a lesson!"

Harmanan Singh picBehaviour can be a reaction to stereotypes, but as Harmanan Singh, 17, a Correspondent from Mumbai in India writes, there is much to learn from looking beyond first impressions.

It was yet another crowded, packed day at the railway station. I scuttled with a million others as I took the eternal climb on the staircase and wiped my moist brow as I reached the landing.

The humungous task was far from over; I still had to spend countless minutes in the queue to obtain a second class ticket. The heat was treacherous too, making the task cumbersome. The dog seemed to enjoy the heat as it stretched near the ticket counter, unaffected as it basked.

Railway stations are probably the best place to experience the vibe of India. I did observe people on my stationary expedition. The middle aged man with a glistening bald head, to the stout woman in the sari tugging her small kids along; surely each had unique stories to tell about their life and times.

I kept peering towards the ticket window occasionally, the change in the number of heads ahead being infinitesimally small over a long period of time. I shifted my gaze around to spot something more interesting than the large, twirled moustache of the gentleman standing next to me. The sight of two urchins grovelling in the dust amused me. They wore rather old, tattered clothes, had unruly hair, chaffed, bare feet- they honestly weren’t a pretty sight. I was lost in the reverie of thoughts and thought about their plight. It was unfortunate, wasn’t it? Why this suffering? They did deserve a better life.

As I thought about this, I saw them being shooed away by their more blessed countrymen. The urchins had probably seen this behaviour, all their life. Undiminishing, unflinching grit was the cause of their survival. Honestly, I felt a little uncomfortable with them around me, my mobile phone gripped firmly in my palm.

The urchins returned to their little game as they tried to snatch a wooden piece from one another. The game kept me curious for few moments, and I soon realised that a three- or four-year-old boy, clad in a snazzy shirt, jeans and sneakers shared the same interest. He stood glued, witnessing the whole drama. The game attracted him and he took a few steps towards the two urchins. Wait! I screamed silently and wanted to stop the kid from going too close to the urchins.

The trio now enjoyed their little game thoroughly. I had inhibitions about the urchins but the kids’ laughter struck my conscience, and it struck me hard! This “little” game taught me a “big” lesson in life. As I permitted myself to put up a little smile on my face, I finally purchased my train ticket.

photo credit: Eileen Delhi via photopin cc
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About me:

I am a Grade 12 science student in Mumbai, India. I am an explorer with an endeavour to visit every nation on this planet. I aspire to be a travel journalist and experience varied cultural vibes across geographies. Wildlife, debating, poetry and entrepreneurship are some of my other interests.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/
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