They do not try to please. They are wary, almost hostile. Sukhbai has learned from her elders to keep her face impassive while she performs. They tell me her name reluctantly.

Only the purple beads around her neck and the glitter on her red and blue dress allow me to think that perhaps sometimes, she does smile.

17 thoughts on “sukhbai

    1. Chintan, the performances always make you stop in the middle of the road and watch, even for a few seconds. It’s a way of life, that is what the families have done for generations.

    1. Harvey, I am sure she does. Perhaps the hostility the family has built up is to protect themselves from unwanted advances.

  1. Somebody please report her parents to the police. Taking away a kid’s childhood is one thing, but making her walk on a tight-rope is risking her life. What has she done to deserve this, so early in life? Is this really 21st century India?
    This would not be allowed to happen if it was Ahmedabad.

    1. Dhawal, thank you for your comment. You are right, the elders should be reported. Somehow, it never struck any of us watching the little girl. We take so much injustice for granted. I don’t live in Bangalore. But I do hope that the next time someone sees a show like this, they will take some action. Is there a group in Ahmedabad, which keeps a watch on such incidents?

      1. I’m not aware of any such group in Ahmedabad, but that’s a good idea. There must be human rights organisations in Bangalore that can do something about this. We should bring this little girl to their notice.
        What I meant about Ahmedabad is that, there is still a sense of community present here. Maybe there really *is* less poverty here, or maybe because poor people find work, I have not seen children doing hazardous jobs in last atleast 10 years. Ahmedabad also has it’s share of bad things, but maybe in the more modern cities people are more disconnected from each other. I don’t know, something about this broke my impression of Bangalore and Koramangala.

          1. I sent a mail to CRY Bangalore about this. But I doubt if they will be able to do much about it, as it would be extremely difficult to locate the girl. I also found the website of ‘Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights’, but they require particular details to be given about the complaint, so I left that.
            I hope someone is able to do something to help her.

            1. Thank you, Dhawal, for making the effort. I don’t really know anyone in Bangalore in the Koramangala area, but I can ask a couple of friends to keep a look out.

  2. See at 12:19 in the above video.
    I didn’t know the link would turn into an embedded video, so didn’t write the time in a prominent place. Sorry about that.

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