Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Strong Willed Boy Makes His Own Life in Urban India

Sad stories are everywhere but this one is also a testimony to strength. While my heart aches for this boy, I also find pride in the kind of man he turned out to be.

Picture it. Urban India. The streets of the old walled city in Amritsar. A young boy (Yagnesh) has a tumultuous childhood. His father drinks and doesn't have time for the boy. His parents don't really get along and they treat him more as a burden than a blessing (as male children are typically treated).

School becomes too expensive for his family because dad is spending all his money on alcohol. The young boy doesn't want to stop going to school and decides to go on his own every day. By the 8th grade his father stops paying for everything and the boy takes on a job.

He gets cheated and taken advantage of but a local katana shop hires him as a delivery boy. They paid him half of what an adult would make and the boy persevered. He saved his wages to buy shoes and other things he needed to survive. He made his way for 2 long years until he completed 10th standard.

Then he got a job. The hours sucked and it was not a job anyone would jump at the chance to do. He wasn't manual scavenging but he was disposing of human body parts under the Indian medical guidelines. He had his friends and he had a job. It would seem he finally had all a boy needed in life.

Like all smart Indian men he started saving up his money even more. He stopped taking crap from his alcoholic father and continued working. Eventually he met a girl named Sita - a well educated girl who was very pretty and had a wonderful personality.

Surprisingly her family didn't give any trouble to the two when the young couple told their parents. Of course, for Jagnesh he didn't give them the chance to permit or deny the union. He'd become aggressively stubborn toward his parents who never really took care of him. Sita's parents didn't deny the union either though, despite the fact she wanted to marry someone without an education.

The couple married and Sita moved into the home. Yagnesh provided every comfort possible to her and kept her quite happy. Sita took care of the home and his parents and kept the peace as much as possible. She was a typical Indian wife. Yagnesh recently renovated the home to provide a nice kitchen for her and a space of their own - free from his parents.

Do you know of other inspiring true stories from India?
Do you think that Yagnesh should still take care of his parents in their old age the way it is typically expected? 

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