They had neither coveted for the stars nor for the moon,
At most, they would have just wished to regain their health soon.
So that they could get back to the ‘normal’; be that normal be exciting or mundane,
At least it was better than lying sick in a room, experiencing all this pain.
They didn’t think what they were wishing was something very special,
For they had been falling sick and getting well umpteen number of times, it was all very casual.
They were mere kids….eager to grow up…to form a part of the world of adults,
For the adults had seemed to them all-knowing and knowledgeable, whose world rarely had time for all their fuss.
They did want to grow up, because they would also then gain legitimacy,
Their thoughts and words would then have a meaning…. Right now they were only kids who rattled and prattled with annoying frequency.
The adults had thought of them as mere fools unaware of real serious things in life,
They had gleefully kept up the facade; after all, their future lives would anyway have their usual share of strife.
But in the safe haven of their hearts,
They had harbored numerous dreams and thoughts.
Some of them wanting to lead ordinary routine lives, as their parents were doing,
Earn their living, take care of their families, such responsible roles they were for themselves envisaging.
Some others had some special ambitions hidden in their hearts,
Of touching the skies, becoming this and that, having their names written in history, before this world they depart.
Lying in that hospital room that day, restless to be cured and out of there soon,
Some would be sleeping, some awake, some already thinking what they would do when they were out of this gloom.
Oblivious were they of the developments in the adult world,
Naïve in their belief that hospital was a place where one went to get cured.
How could they think otherwise? This is what they had always been told,
They had read it in books, heard it from their teachers, their parents, who had them completely to this idea sold.
Although not completely understanding the adult language when they spoke big words like duties and rights,
Still they knew this much that if they were born, they had the right to breathe, no one in their sane mind could deny it to them, try how much ever they might.
What did they know, how naïve were they,
How grossly they had underestimated the adult world, which was much more capable of turning everything into ‘child’s play’.
Capable of conveniently forgetting its duties,
The duties for which someone was being paid by the day.
Capable of murder of innocent little children,
And calling it by innumerable other names, so that its deeds could remain hidden.
Capable of trivializing and politicizing almost everything under the sun,
Because humanity and tenets fundamental to human existence were increasingly on the run.
Into the permanent state of silence though they have now been forced to enter,
This deafening silence will continue to haunt us forever.
For there is no place to run from one’s conscience,
No place that will be able to provide, even for a second, any shelter.
Nivedita Dwivedi has done MA in Elementary Education from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Blog at http://fromwordstovoid.blogspot.in/