“Today, baba let me drive the boat”

When asked to pose with his cycle of a single tire, he ran off to call his friends. 
“What are you playing”, I asked. There was no answer, just giggles.
“Did you learn to play these games in school?” I enquired.


Place Shrivardhan, Maharashtra || Photograph Courtesy: Nayan Anand

“We don’t go to school. We help our fathers on the boat.”
“But you are still young, what way do you help your father in?” I quizzed.
“I get the diesel for the boat whenever he asks me to”, said one.
“Oh! You know, today baba even let me drive the boat”, said another to his friends; grinning and earning the admiration of others. The clear sign of joy on their faces evident, didn’t bring a smile on mine though.
They posed yet another question, one of their futures.

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