Based on an incident witnessed by AVB
Yet another pleasant Monday morning was here. The so called Monday blues never affe
cted her. Monday blues are for those, she felt, who probably were out partying and have a hangover and hate the sheer existence of a Monday. If Monday didn’t exist, people would hate Tuesday. Hence she loved Monday just because it saved Tuesday from the blame.She spent her entire Sunday hosting a drawing competition in the nearby orphanage. She woke up to that satisfaction. She started her Activa and zoomed past her building. It was 10am. Tantra kept noticing the surroundings whilst riding. She saw the green signal tick down to 3 seconds and slowed down her vehicle and managed to stop just before the zebra crossing until the signal turned red.
Some miscreants still passed by only to be caught by the traffic constable hiding behind a rickshaw across the road in search of his prey.
A 6 year old boy came near her flashing an aeroplane. She found something past that. A family. Probably. She didn’t feel like they were a family. The man was smoking a bidi with a lady sitting right next to him with a baby in her arms. Tantra was blown apart. It didn’t stop there. The woman, well, the mother grabs the bidi and smokes it. The mother looked healthy. The smoke wreaks havoc at a critical time in the development of the lungs of the baby. Tantra crossed the road once the signal turned green, parked the vehicle, didn’t care to give an explanation to the traffic constable and stood right in front of the ‘family.’
She grabbed the baby from the woman, pushed the charging man. The man, probably a chain smoker, was weak enough to crash-land with that push. With the baby in Tantra’s arms, she pulled the lady by her hand, crossed the road and made her sit on the nearby bench. The conversation happened in Hindi.
Tantra not only explained the effects of smoking on her body but also the adverse effects on the baby.
“Oh madam! Mera baccha nahi hai, subah kaam ke liye mil jaata hai, waise bhi dawaai ghusaya hai iske andar taaki roye na,” (Madam, this is not my child. I just received it in the morning. Drugs have been injected into the child so that it doesn’t cry) the woman yelled back.
Tantra was shocked to the core. She called up the orphanage to come with a doctor and also summoned the traffic constable about the incident. He listened patiently and stormed off. The orphanage van arrived. Just to remove her frustration, Tantra slapped through the lady’s face and shouted, “Maa bano, phir baat karenge.” (Lets talk once you become a mother.) The lady didn’t react realizing her mistake, probably.
Tantra went to work, visited the orphanage in the evening only to know that it’ll take some time for the baby to recover. The baby, eventually, did recover.
She didn’t find the lady again.
She might probably be at some other signal with a new ‘drugged’ baby.
FYI:Tobacco smoke wreaks havoc in babies at a critical time in the development of lungs when millions of tiny cells called alveoli (pronounced al-VEE-o-lye) are being formed. Alveoli are the place where oxygen passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. Human infants are born with only about one-fifth of the 300 million alveoli they will need as adults. They construct almost all those 300 million alveoli between birth and age 8. Thus, this early exposure to environmental tobacco smoke created a long-lasting and perhaps permanent asthma-like condition. In some cases it also causes ear infection or deafness.
With medical inputs from Komal Kokare and http://www.news.ucdavis.edu