This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 47; the forty-seventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
Partho wasn't enjoying the ride, even though he wasn't driving. His car was moving very slowly through the narrow alley that led to the shelter home. But he was a little excited today. He was going to meet the little girl he had been sponsoring for the past three years for the first time today. He had butterflies in his stomach, which he found strange, considering the fact that it was he who brought anxious moments to people who worked under him in his corporation. 'CEO's shouldn't feel nervous', he thought to himself, and tried to brush off the feeling, in vain.
Like most corporate entities that were trying to get involved in CSR activities, Partho's media company had formed an association with a well-known NGO, that was the benefactor for a girl's shelter home. In the past three years, he hadn't found the time or motivation to visit his 'adopted girl child'. This time, however, something that he couldn't put a finger on had somehow gotten him to try to reach out and meet the girl.
Sometime later, Partho's car stopped in front of a rusted metal gate. The walls flanking the gate hadn't been painted for years it seemed. He stepped out the car and entered the gate. A very old structure stood before him. Partho wondered whether this shelter home had ever received financial support from anyone at all - it really needed some major repair work. An old, even more dilapidated man - a caretaker he assumed - sat on a crokked chair right in front of the entrance to the structure.
"Hi", said Partho, expecting a grand welcome.
"Eh?" the old man replied nonchalantly, barely making eye contact.
"This is the girl's shelter home, right?"
"I'm looking for a girl named Preeti. I'm her sponsor."
"Lot of Preetis here. Wait outside, I'll line em up."
The old man went in and came out with four young girls, all aged between 6 and 10 years old. One look at the collective sight of the girls, and Partho knew they weren't happy living there.
"Which one of you is nine years old?", asked Partho, eager to know his 'child'.
One girl took two steps ahead, without saying a word. She looked much younger, probably due to poor nutrition. Her clothes were very shabby and bore holes in many spots.
"You happy here, Preeti?"
The girl merely nodded her head in the affirmative. Deep inside Partho wasn't convinced. But now that his curiosity had been satiated, he wasn't as interested as he was just ten minutes ago.
"Here, I've bought you new clothes. Take this chocolate bar as well."
She held out her hand and took them from him. All she could muster up was a sheepish smile.
She nodded in the affirmative again. Partho saw tears forming in her eyes - he couldn't make out whether they were tears of joy or of hope. Not that he cared much anymore anyway.
"Alright then", he said, taking a quick look at his watch, "Time for me to say goodbye. Bye Preeti". He patted the girl on her head and hastened towards the gate, and out into his car, not even caring to look behind at his 'child'.
He missed seeing the caretaker push the girls inside, and fondle his 'child' as he directed her back to his room.
SILENCE MUST BE HEARD, lest innocence fall prey to evil.