“Ma…allow me to sleep some more…am tired,I had a shoot till late last night.please ma…”she could barely open her eyes. her tiny palm rubbed her sleepy eyes..

“No baby,you need to practice for the final round.Masterji is coming home in half an hour,get up and get ready quickly”her ambitious mother just didn’t want to give up on her 7 years old.

She knew that her mother will be very angry if she didn’t follow her instructions hence she forced herself out of the comfort of her bed….slouched towards the wash room…literally dragging her tiny feet…and sore legs …hours of practice and long hours of shooting had left her totally exhausted…but somewhere she had started cherishing the name,fame,fan following and of course the flow of money…and more than anything she loved the shine in her mother’s eyes when she spoke about her daughter in a boastful voice with her friends and relatives,

Masterji was very punctual…the moment clock struck 7,the door bell rang…
“Ah masterji….please have a seat,she is almost ready….what would you like to have ?your usual neembu pani or some warm milk? I have given instructions to Vasudha,she will make breakfast for you…I need to go out urgently …you know I am the president of child welfare society…today we are protesting against the child labour..I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders…I am doing my best in my capacity to do my bit for the society…” she smiled as she adjusted her crisp cotton sari from fab india..

“Baby….come down..Masterji is waiting…”she yelled from the living room
There was a complete silence….no response..she repeated her self ,yet…not even a sound from upstairs.
She asked her 12 years sold maid…Vasudha to go and check…
A lean girl ran upstairs…to check on chhoti memsab

She opened the door…n saw…little memsaab was sleeping on the throne with her head resting on the wash basin and a toothbrush in her hand…

Two young girls…living under one roof… both-the victim of child labour in their own ways….ironically in the house that belonged to a lady who carries the responsibility of redeeming this society from the plague called child labour thats contaminating and making it hollow .

Point to ponder-
Are kids who are forced into reality shows by their parents to boost their ego,to earn name n fame and to have a trophy to gloat in public ,any different than those working as house assistants(huh I guess too big a word for the harsh n stark naked reality of this double faced society ) or working at Dhabas????
All are the victims of child labour -some are out in open…and some paying a price in the garb of sophisticated reality shows. …sobbing in silence…-kathachitram by Shailja.