Why I Was Born at Your Home?

When I was born, that was one of the most beautiful days of my parents’ life. They celebrated it with great pomp and show. As I grew, I began knowing the world around me. I initiated this practice from my home itself. Leela, the toilet-cleaner of our house, used to come every morning.

I tried to talk to her but my parents forbade me. I didn’t understand it then. I just followed my parents’ instructions. Sheela, the drycleaner, used to come with her children for collecting the clothes for laundry and I wanted to play with her children but my parents denied my wish again. I just kept my question of “why” to myself and moved on.

Now I was a teenager with a fraction of awareness about the society around me. I began realizing the segregation pattern in society. I had friends who were quite apprehensive about whom to talk to, whom to eat with, whom to play with and lots of others. But still my curiosity didn’t end about “what is going on there?” One day I couldn’t resist myself and asked my parents – what is this?

They answered me in a very straightforward way. Our society is divided. We are upper class. They are backward class. We are entitled to get money, comfort, luxury and every pleasure of this world. They are liable to serve us, to follow our instructions and never to question us. This reply jeopardized my spirit. I couldn’t swallow this. I was numb the whole day.

Now I was an adolescent with the entire cognizance of this world. I used to keep abreast of every political, social, economic action going around. The reservation bill was in parliament. And whole lot of chaos was going on in the country. A big protest was initiated by upper-class against the bill. But ultimately the politics had to win by hook or crook. And the bill passed and became a law. Beneficiaries were celebrating this moment like a festival as they had achieved something after centuries. But it was true, they actually had.

Now I was an adult preparing for a get off for my career. I competed in medical entrance examination but denied the seat due to reservation. I was frustrated. But due to my parents’ approach, I somehow got the admission. I really worked hard through all my medical education tenure. And finally I became able to put the word “Doctor” in front of my name with a first class degree. I applied to a government hospital for my medical practice. But again the reservation was with my life – journey.

So, I began a private practice myself after taking a small room for rent. My next few years passed with a lot of struggle. After some good measure of experience, I got an opportunity from a government hospital to join there. I accepted the offer without thinking for a second. On the first day itself, I was assigned the senior to whom I had to report.

Straightway, I entered into his cabin. He was busy in some work with his face down. As soon as he lifted his face, the earth under my feet shattered. He was one of the children of Sheela, our drycleaner. He asked me “Do you want to play with me?” Unable to speak a single word, I ran into my cabin. My body was pulsating like never before. I gulped a glass of water and somehow pacified myself. I went to my home and asked my parents “Why I was born at your home?”

Sumit Goyal