“MEHMAN BHAGWAN HOTE HAI”, this is a common phrase in Hindi that every grandparent or parent has imbedded into the minds of their children. The English translation being GUESTS ARE LIKE GOD. No matter who it is, it is important that you let the person into your house and offer them shelter and refreshments.
You would think that the people living in poorer conditions would be unable to provide or afford this sort of hospitality; once again we were proven wrong!
While we went from door to door asking people questions, a really nice family offered us refreshments, she insisted that we have something to drink and asked her child to run out and get a few bottles of coca cola. We stood there and chatted with her to learn that all her children are currently enrolled in school. At the same time Gayatri teacher gave us some news that hit me out of the blue, the lady living in that house was well off and she good afford much more than she currently lived in.
This got me thinking, why doesn’t she live in a better place, maybe she’s grown accustomed to the environment, she’s is drawn by the powerful sense of being part of a community? This question was left clearly unanswered as the lady just smiled and didn’t really have a proper response.
Juhi also met with this lady who lived across from the Parivarthan school, everyday when Juhi would leave and enter the school, she insisted that Juhi spend a night at her house. She hated us leave, probably scared of the day that we would not return?
It amazes me to see that even within soo much poverty there exists soo much love and selflessness. They are willing to give more than they are able to make and I strongly believe these are the people who make Mumbai what it is today ☺, after all slum dwellers make up approx. 60% of this city