Born Into Brothels

Two kids from the 8 kids that Zana Briski, an American Photographer, tried to rescue from their hellish life made it good. Avijit, a very talented boy who understood the nuances of photography even at his young age and without proper training studied film making at New York University and is set or maybe already working as an assistant director in Hollywood. Kochi, the girl who was the most determined not to become like everyone around her by getting a good education, persevered and was able to study in the US aided by the profits made from the film’s success.  (Check what eventually happened to these kids here)

I can understand the photographer’s inability not to get involved with her subjects. Her main task was to document what was going on in the brothels but to see these kids’ laughter, aspirations and hopes despite their desperate situation can break anyone’s heart and you have to be totally inhuman to not try to help but I am in awe with how much she gave of herself to help them. It must have been so painful for her to see the other kids not able to make the best of the opportunity she gave them.

A truly heartbreaking documentary which leaves you wondering why any kid has to grow up in such circumstances. My tears turned into sobs when I reached the part where the kids saw the sea for the first time. The joy in their faces at seeing something so beautiful was wonderful to behold.

You can watch the whole film at ‪#‎netflixindia‬

No Matter How Small

page 6written and illustrated by Jofelyn Martinez Khapra

My new book is about the right of a child to be born in a habitable environment. We, humans have dwelt on earth for centuries. Why haven’t we figure out until now how to make this world a safe place to live for our young?

The Adventures of Alia And Sarika

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page 3written and illustrated by Jofelyn Martinez Khapra

New Children’s Book

 

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The first two pages of a new children’s book I’m working on. My new book is about the right of a child to be born in a habitable environment.

We, humans have dwelt on earth for centuries. Why have we not figure out until now how to make this world a safe place to live for our young?

A Girl’s Life Ends At 20

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I look at her, lanky but with such lovely facial features. High cheekbones, thick endless lashes draping doe-like soulful eyes.  She is only 14 but already wearing out from the cares of the world. Now that she’s older, her family’s poverty is more pronounced. On her tattered clothing, on her dejected bearing. As a child, she was more carefree, oblivious to the state of her life. She used to burst with energy and aspirations, but as she grew into awareness, the limits of her ambitions are slowly dawning on her. I often used to wonder what will become of her. What will happen to her in the future. It devastates me to think of the inevitability of what the rest of her life would be like.

I kept asking her what are her plans for college every time I meet her. I can always feel the hesitation. The sigh around the room.”She wants to be a doctor.” Her sister would say, her voice laced with regret.

Her sister once tried defying tradition but now has acquiescence to the endless nagging of the convention. She will get married. She will give a dowry. Her sister had gone to college. She’s got a job. She is doing her masters. But those will hardly make any difference.

“Life ends once you get married.” I’ve heard this phrase too often from girls of marriageable age in this country.

This is unimaginable for me. For a girl, 20 years is such a short time to live.

Babar The Water Dog

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Babar loves to swim. One time, we took him with us on a boat when we went to Bhimtal lake. He was mesmerized by the water around him. After pacing around the boat repeatedly he jumped into the water and swam like a pro. It was his first time in deep water.