I've never been lucky enough to visit India. I haven't seen the movie either.
This has been bugging me for days. First I read this article at CNN. It bothered me a lot. Then I saw this picture:
A couple of days passed, and I saw this picture of Azharuddin Ismail the Thursday after the Oscars:
It was accompanied by this article. about his father having just hit him for refusing to talk to reporters. (The same article was published in several other places, both online and in print.) To his father's credit, he apologized. I mean he's not used to this kind of scrutiny either. But the whole thing upset me a lot. He's just a kid. He'd been under a lot of pressure. I was furious at his father for hitting him. I was furious with the reporters for hounding him. He's a little boy, not much older than my grandson. He was tired, he was overwhelmed. It pissed me off. And the sensationalism of the reporting pissed me off. The incredible judgmentalist tone of the piece written, no doubt by someone sitting comfy in a chair in a warm house. Someone not in that reality.
I could only compare his reality with mine, as it's the one I know. It still bothered me. I knew the producers had made sure that these kids' education would be covered and that they were trying to do right by them. Views on parenting might be different there than mine are.
Then I started thinking about all the OTHER kids in those slums and found a reasoned comment on the CNN article. Donations can be sent to Pratham.org to help all the other little ones who were not at the Oscars, who were not in the movie, who are used to living under plastic sheeting.
All that was followed by how many kids a block, four blocks, 20 blocks from my house are in the same situation: living in poverty, getting the back of a hand, maybe going hungry.
The whole thing broke my heart. I can't get Azaruddin's little tear streaked face out of my head. I'm going to keep him there to remind me of all the others in Thailand, in Africa, in India, and yes even here in America, who are hungry and overwhelmed.
It's not just an Indian problem. I compare these impoverished kids reality with an AIG executive's reality and it pisses me off.
Sometimes the whole world seems cockeyed.