When we were probably twelve or thirteen, we were learning how to calculate compound interest, mugging the right kind of soil to cultivate coffee in, the subtler basics of sexual education, new found interest in late night TV and porn and what not. Elsewhere LTTE was abducting children to put them to good use as foot soldiers or as human shields. Or worse still as suicide bombers in the war torn post Saddam Iraq or as luxury set pieces in the booming virgin sex trade, all across the world. Decades before this, Iranian kids of this age were wrapping themselves in blankets so as to have all their internal organs together while rolling in minefields, lest their spleens and kidneys get lost in the ensuing mayhem after tripping a mine.
Kids who wage civil wars, who clean our plates, kids who clean our bathrooms. Kids, who we were all once, playing cricket on the roads and crying if our mom’s didn’t give us allowance to buy an ice cream. We complain. Of how our education system ruined our lives, stripped the talent we had. We don’t look at the kids sleeping on the platforms and on the sides of the road. We get a ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ once in a decade which inflates accounts of child torture for money. We watch it, we weep and we let it win an Oscar and that’s to it. We let the kids work as usual, the beggars on the train and the vendors in the market. We don’t complain.
As David Foster Wallace said, we think we’re the whole centre of the universe. No one else matters. Yet we fight for causes, arm chair critics as we are. Terrorism. Abu Ghraib. Kony. But we never care for that boy at the roadside eatery; we turn a blind eye and instead complain how the government doesn’t get things done. Child labor? Fuck no. We don’t care, ‘cause we’re the crusaders for a greater good. Masses we say, should be benefitted. They’re inconspicuous and they’re everywhere. Fuckers should work hard then? Would you have when you were a kid? Minus your Nintendo’s and Lays chips? Can’t imagine working in a cesspool all day right? Covered in sweat and grime? Nah. They’re not privileged? Really? You were also not privileged to live an uncompromising life too, stop complaining then. Nah. But you won’t.
Violence is everywhere, the ones perpetrating it and the ones bearing the brunt of it. But you know who’s worse? The ones who help the one who let it propagate it. Violence is described as a turbulent state resulting in injuries or destruction. Talk about mental injuries, ones that’ll be scarred for life. Ignoring a crime in process is grimmer than perpetrating the crime itself. We are fuckin’ violents masked by our privilege. And worse part still? We complain of violence and a world filled with abuse. Find something that reflects the image of your face now.