HIS JOURNEY BEGINS…

BIRTH OF BALU - CHILD TRADED FOR Rs 8

In 1916, when the small town Arasikere was in deep slumber, a child was desperate to hop out of his mother’s secured and protective womb to view the bright world outside being unaware of what was in store for him for his future. Yes, little Balu’s birth happened. His parents were poor daily wage workers who toiled to make their ends meet. The child was christened Balakrishna but fondly addressed as Balu. By the time of his birth his father was already battling for life with a severe stomach ailment.

Hailing from an impoverished family, Balu began to grow in a poor class ethos, in the warmth lap of few mothers of the locality as his mother could not take a day off as she was the only bread winner of the family and who was constantly on heels to feed her child and also to attend to the needs of her ailing husband too.  As Balu turned a year older his father’s ailment too turned to be a monster, threatening every moment of his survival.  The doctor who attended on him referred him to another hospital for further diagnosis tests to be conducted on him.

 

As bad phase arrives with loads of hardships, Balu’s mother too fell a victim to the torturous phase.  She struggled to earn that extra income to meet her husband’s medical expenditure, but in vain.  Driven into penury and as the monthly rental for her single room shelter too remained mounted, sooner her family were mercilessly shown the door.  The frail desperate mother with Balu in her arm wondered places to seek some financial aid and shelter but returned with sheer disappointment.  Balu too seemed inconsolable wailing for his mother’s attention and also her sick husband who was seen squatted on the footway / footpath too looked weary and restless.  The visibly devastated lady appeared to be in a trance state of mind as her pale eyes aspired for some kind of mercy attention.  The beset child who vehemently cried to grab his mother’s attention too failed as his hapless mother appeared too tired to pacify him.  She stood motionless in the same place hours together until a nearby residing lady milk vendor, Rangamma noticed her plight, walked upto her and invited them to rest for a while at her nearby home.  Balu’s mother’s eye sparkled and glowed with a ray of hope.  Rangamma enquired her grievances and Balu’s mother briefed her of the enormity of her endurances.  Rangamma who gave a patient hearing allowed them to rest on the porch of her home and also offered them some food and water.  Balu’s mother envisaged a positive vibe and hoped to see some light at the end of the tunnel.  After ascertaining the situation, Rangamma offered to help her, but, her generous help was rather a conditional one as she expressed her desire to adopt Balu in exchange for the financial aid.  Her intention shocked Balu’s mother who pleaded her to show mercy and also promised to reimburse the offered money at some stage soon after her husband’s health recovery, but, Rangamma was adamant and never seemed to budge.  Silence ruled the situation and a pall of gloom shrouded the place for sometime and the beleaguered mother sat dumbstruck for a while as she could not convince Rangamma and she also empathized with her ailing husband who laid muttering and writhing in pain throughout their conversation.  Life seemed a spectre to Balu’s mother as the situation appeared a death-knell and which also demanded her of on ultimate decision, either to sacrifice her child to save her husband from the clutches of death or abandon her ailing husband to the cruelty of embrasing an horrified death and thus remain united with her son.  Ultimately, she opted to sacrifice her child, dreaming and hoping a better prospects for him and thus rescue her husband who was struggling at the jaws of death.  Within minutes the wailing and tiresome child was transferred unto the arms of Rangamma in exchange for few bucks of Rs.8/-.  Burdened with pains of sorrow and her heart bleeding to die, the shell shocked mother parted ways and slowly moved away with tears from the grasp of her child’s tiny hands who desisted to even let his mother move, stretching his tiny arms screaming to convey in his speechless language “ma, don’t leave me, take me back”.

It was already dark by then, Rangamma carried away the child into her home.  The most unfortunate mother with blood-stained heart of burdened grief vanished into the darkness along with her ailing husband never ever to return back in later years, not even to have a glance at her child.  What went wrong no-body knows, even little Balu.  As destiny rules, the beginning of little Balu’s life seemed indeed end of everything, as the warmth and cuddling of his mother never happened and Rangamma remained a custodian mother of Balu forever.  The worst part of his life was that he grew up with his parents name being undisclosed to him.

A MESSAGE:- One is born to live, so fight back the fears and woes to win over the challenges of life. 

BALU’S CHILDHOOD:

Hitherto, Balu, the destiny’s classic child was raised by his foster mother, who did love and care him but eventually she could not attribute to provide him much attention and care and sooner he was left to fend for himself. His childhood days were encounters of struggle which made him a self-efficient boy. He not only assisted his mother in household cores by fetching fire woods from forest, but also washed his clothes and went on errands and also attended a nearby school.

At the outset, as an young boy, Balu was naughty.  He was enthralled by stage shows for which he would skip classes to watch plays either in nereby theatres or tents.  He went on to be extremely passionate for those theatrical plays.  He along with his fellow guys would stealthily sneak into tents or theatres possibly in his home town or even walk all the way to watch them in distant towns.  His passion for them induced him to even steel money from his home.  Sometimes he would come home late and his annoyed mother would never let him in, on such occasions he slept on the porch outside his home using gunny bags.  It so happened that some of his friends who enjoyed his company would come in search of him in the wee hours, and they would try to awaken him and if Balu was in deep slumber, the highly disappointed boys would pick-up nearby sand, fill Balu’s ear with them and run away.  The naughty boys repeated those tricks fewer times.

Gradually Balu’s attention and concentration in the class too subsided which irked his class teachers who in turn punished him.  For reasons unknown, gradually Balu was rendered short of hearing loss which proved as an additional hindrance to his sulking attention and concentration in class.  By the time Balu reached Class VIII, his short of hearing disability further developed as an acute impairment which turned to be an agony to young Balu who eventually eluded classes and set his attention towards theatre shows.  His education came to a stands still when he was detained twice in class VIII.  As he was denied re-admission in the same class since he failed to fare well and on that context his mother was summoned and reported of the facts.  She deliberately punished him by not providing him with food and she also accused him of being disobedient, but, Balu remained unabashed and paid no attention to his mother’s pleadings, instead, he set his dreams for theatre plays.  To escape the ire of his mother Balu striked a cordial friendship with show organizers and theatre troupe members.  Later, his friends too got hooked to his passion for stage plays and they too ignored their studies to join hands with Balu.

Balu, with his fellow guys would sneak into forest to enact plays created by him.  He would pen the requisite sequence and dialects for the play “Raama Pattabhisheka” for which he created a stage in the forest, gathered leaves to weave crown, branches and wood sticks to utilize them as bows and arrows, swords etc., required for the play.  The boys enjoyed his company immensely.  All those acts attributed to his friends parents accusations on Balu and also his mother for ruining their children’s future.  Complaints piled up against Balu and despite his mother’s pleadings to dis-associate himself from his friends and abandon his involvement in theatre activities indeed were all unheeded by Balu who secretly began to render his assistance to show organisers for distributing hand bills, sticking posters, running behind carts for theatre play announcements and other associated jobs.  All these he did in exchange to view the plays for free of tickets.  He nursed and pursued his dreams for theatre stage plays until it became a reality, many a times he ignored the boys mocking at his short of hearing disability and engaged himself by participating in the activities of the theatre.

In due course of period, Balu’s presence at home too was ignored which prompted him to while away his time in theatres and tents.  Many a times he sat all alone in isolated places to read hand bills and notices to improvise his Kannada language knowledge.  Ultimately he turned to be a self taught boy.  Though a class VIIIth fail, Balu’s knowledge in Kannada was transformed to a laudable learner inspite of not even being tutored at homeIn later years he had an amazing command over the language. An adage says-confidence begets confidence, so were the confidence in himself which was a major asset to Balu.

Balu’s association with members of theatre troupe camps and organizations bonded well as he volunteered to assist them in all petty jobs.  His constant presence in the camp were observed by the entire camp members.  Though all the communications were conveyed on a high pitched tone or sign language, yet Balu carried on the tasks without any complaints.  At times he was assigned with task of a gate keeper, curtain raiser or assisted in painting backdrops or even preparing hand bills. During off peak periods when there was a dropback for packed audience, Balu would be denied to be entrusted with any jobs and he would be shooed away.  Nothing deterred him from presenting himself, instead, he continued to remain unabashed, in fact, he would return in no time to grab any opportunity.  Henceforth, his constant presence was realized and acknowledged for his penchant desire and aspiring passion for stage shows, and also his unflinching faith in himself which devoid of his short of hearing disability were all keenly monitored.  Hence, when shows fetched a handsome profit, Balu was provided with food and shelter.

A MESSAGE:-  Hard work, constant persuasion and a WILL to achieve one’s dream shall ultimately bear fruit.  Never give up hope or succumb to failures, as failures are only stepping stones to success.