Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kids at Work

When she is living on the brink of poverty, she does not have the luxury of being a stay-at-home mother. And neither can she afford child-care facilities for her children. If she don't have a helpful relative or an older child, she is often left with little choice but to bring her child to work.

Her children learn early to amuse themselves. They are far more independent than a child leading a more sheltered life. Early in life they learn to add and subtract, and get the better of a long bargain.

But do they ever attain their full potential?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

I've got more photographs taken in and round the city than I can ever post on this blog, so have started a new blog, Snapshots of Bombay, where I will only be posting photographs. Do drop by when you can.


Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - First, that's a lovely and captivating 'photo of exactly what you are talking about. You've put your finger on one of the fundamental differences between that class makes. Class makes no difference in terms of whether and how much parents love their children. It does, though, affect so much in terms of what parents are able to do for their children. An eloquent reminder...

Rayna M. Iyer said...

You know, Margot, you really hit the nail on the head. In the course of my work, I meet all kinds of mothers - mothers on the brink of poverty, mothers who are barely scraping by, mothers living in slums, and even five star (donor) mothers - and the one thing all of them have in common is love for their children. That is always an instant connect which even goes beyond language, BUT, circumstances determine how you show your love.

Mary said...

Rayna - The picture and post are very poignant. You have capture the essence of motherhood and life.
Beautiful as always

Clarissa Draper said...

I know that many of the children here are facing the same situation. They stand on the street between lanes of traffic begging besides their mothers... sometimes in the heat of the day. I don't know if they go to school or if they can afford to so I'm not sure they can get out of the situation they're in. It's a sad state of affairs.


LTM said...

who's judging?

love this, and love that baby! ((squeeze))

have a lovely weekend, m'dear~ :o)

Jan Morrison said...

Natasha, I was thinking about just this thing the other day while I was out wandering the woods with Hoagy - that women's work - traditionally - gathering and animal husbandry (should be wifery) was suited to being with small children. Hunting would not be - going off to defend against the hoardes of marauders would not be. So our work has been shaped by the assumption that women will take care of young children. I was picking blackberries while I thought about this and the dog was being so patient and I was wishing he had opposable thumbs so he could help and then thinkinng that young children would be amused and helpful picking berries. Oh, the roads minds take. Now I could not take young children to my work as a psychotherapist but I could take my dog! I'm reading the seminal text for town developers right now - Pattern Language - and it addresses all these issues and more. A lovely and radical view on how we live and how our lives are fashioned by need and habit!
Wonderful photo and I for sure am going over to your other site - you and I are sisters, I know!

Boonsong said...

Wow, You’ve captured this perfectly - succinct and descriptive. Well done!

All the best, Boonsong

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't know about full potential, but they will learn things other children don't.

Theres just life said...

I agree with Alex these children learn of life at an early age. Which is more important to learn first hand with a loving parent close. Or learn from others with no parental supervision to monitor and advise them.

Jemi Fraser said...

Interesting question. I think there are so many healthy and happy ways to raise a child.

A lot of people are in this position and I think many, many of them make it work. It's most certainly not easy, but my hat goes off to them!

slommler said...

Life throws at us many twists and turns. Never what we expect and we have to juggle and deal with it! I applaud their tenacity! The children learn early that life can be an adventure! As well as hard!
Well written hun!!
Hey! My fiber piece is installed!! Come see!!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Mary- thank you. That is motherhood, isn't it?

@ Clarissa- so many children in India don't go to school because their mothers want them to look after younger siblings. That is really sad

@ LTM- not judging per se. But feeling sad about the waste of human potential

@ Jan - so true about man's work and woman's work. One partner has to provide for the kids, I guess, or they have to take turns. Never heard of the book, but it sounds like something I would love to read.

@ Boonsong - thank you

@ Alex- that they sure to. They are much more innovative and confident than my kids

@ Theres just life- they may not learn ordinal numbers, but can they count and add and subtract!

@ Jemi- totally agree- how they do it is beyond me

@ SueAnn - did pop across, and it looks fantastic


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