Picture yourself as a five year-old, small in stature but large in spirit and eager to do everything you can to be your mother’s little helper. You look up to your big brother who, despite being only a few years older, is larger-than-life and everything you want to be. Your family is poor but hard-working and always full of love.
One evening, despite your sleepiness, you ask your brother to take you with him on his evening job run – because life in impoverished Calcutta, India, means you start working as soon as you are big enough to carry anything and taking any job you can find. Your big brother reluctantly agrees and together you go on a train ride somewhere. You don’t know where because you fell asleep on the train and you can’t read anyway.
When you wake up, you are all alone on a bench on a deserted train platform. You call your brother’s name but get no response. You peek into every train car. You are tired and hungry. You become lost inside one of the carriages and you head into the great unknown. When the train stops, you get off but you cannot understand a word people are shouting at you. They are speaking a different dialect. It is now several days later and all you can do is survive the best that any street-smart five year-old can in a foreign environment. Continue reading