Slum : A thickly populated place of a city inhabited by Poor.
That is what Dictionary defines Slum as, Hmmm may be existing some other definition, but all those words run down to convey the same meaning.
There is more to that word than what it shows on Layer. Due to congestion and high density, people living there hardly enjoy even basic amenities. Homes’ there lesser spoken about them be better. Narrow lanes, no question of courtyard or enclosure. So when sun shines it literally does.
Mud huts made up of wood, metal or any waste material. Most of the times 12-13 people live,eat and sleep in a room. Sewage water stagnates in open surface – Yeah bad smell (Obviously). Children often play in place where the drains are used as open Latrines.
In such Drain grew up our hero called “WASTE“. He lived in a slum named “CHALCO“, his name was Chalco as well, but he was named “waste”, by what people called him as. Lazy, disinteresting, hardly loves life and thats a few words Chalco can be summed up in.
Waste was fine at making people laugh, thats the only thing he was good with and had least knowledge about the same. Now how can someone so easily know about it? That was slum rite ??
Trafficking, beggars’ association etc was huge business in slum. Some would be its victim some would be in the process to make others victim, it was a cycle in air. It would never end. Rich needed labour or can we say it as want?.. However and Poor would eat from what they earn everyday. Hardly any question of saving. In that scene, parents of poor would sell their kids for money and hoping their kids to be cared by the owners later on. Such a case where in Young girls would be made to Spread for money and Boys beg for money. Kids under 5 would be toxicated with 10-15ml Vodka so that they nap, and do not sob for food/milk, moreover they should not cry.
“WASTE” never fell in those hands as he was lazy and everyone knew he was so. Untill he was 17 and one day buyer decided to hire him. Disagreeing for which waste ran away.
HIS LIFE IN THE LAND OF UNKNOWN
In a train to the land of unknown. Far away to some other country. Even the air he would breathe felt different from his origin. Geographically new and so it was to him mentally.
Alone in this new place. No identity, No land, No food : Life just welcomed him to life. The time he landed was 5:00 PM exactly. He wanted to have new name, “waste” or “chalco” didnt sound good to him. Train he got into was on way to “MADRID” so he named himself as “MADRID”. “MADRID” was spelled by him as “Mud-rid”, which he meant.
Alone teen had 2 things in mind
- Fill his dancing belly.
- Find a way to have 1
He starts collecting left overs for food. Banjara.
The life he leads with full dedication and struggle just to fill his belly. Realising its worth in a month, after he watches circus for a week.
He is employed there to setup the circus, initial setup like the tent, lights, stage, chair etc., Looking at the artists – Their skill sets, to have people on their feet, magic, stunts, laughs and Excitement. They being wanderer and confined staff, move to next location.
Madrid, is left alone again in the land of circus, some clothes, wood and waste. He thinks of building his own Circus. He the only Artist.
No labour, No resource – Just from scratch. He is good at building from waste as its done in the slum.
BUILDING UP THE TENT
He gets rational. Has daily goals, Amount of wood, cloth metal, chair, stuffs to get them together. He searches for each one of them, in as far place as possible. Does construction work around to earn some resource. He has nothing to loose, A man when has nothing to lose is strongest.
He sets up the first bamboo for the Canvas he stitched after almost 1 and half years. Stone, mud, sand, water, bamboo and year long stitching of thrash clothes. He took whole of 1 and half years. No days were discouraging, no days, were demotivating. With only talent of making people laugh he elaborated his dream. Lived for it.
He had constant income for his investment into his circus, by working at a construction site. Some days he would not work as he would get tired. Some days it would get dark soon, Some local protester against Government policies would break street light, which killed his days. That would take longer to fix, but he would wait & do his job before sunset.
Stitched canvas would fly away, some days he would just search for it, stitches would tear off, So he learnt how to do it perfectly. He could hardly work in rainy season.
Metals, Hammer, Clothes etc, to setup the whole took him 4 years. It was Christmas when he thought to have his first show. After October that year he just earned to have good cloth for himself for his own show.
While he had been to buy clothes in December. The whole setup was stolen. The Chairs, the canvas, the nails, the stage, the wood, Someone who watched it go up brought it down. Again after 4 years of his work he got back to see : NOTHING.
In a Glimpse of time he was broken. His work was stolen. How can someone steal a creation. New clothes in his hand, Just stands a side and looks for tent, he is numb. He is smiling but its incomplete, blank and blacked-out. Moment where his tears shine more than stars. Whom to blame ? himself or the world?
2 days to christmas and he is left with nothing. On the christmas eve Madrid wore the clothes he brought and performed his act, ah well he was crying throughout.
New years’ eve he thought of Circus again started to build a better one, Stiff and Best a man can alone. Why not? He had experience and knew what was important and what was not, whats to be done first and what not.
Madrid took 5 more years from then to set the circus up again. It was twice as good as he had built. He called it “MADRID-CIRCUS”
Lone army, he waited for audience. But none came, as he was a synonym for disaster and a wonderful stroke of luck. This was actual failure one would ever imagine to have experienced.
Makeup everyday and stand to perform his act. Wait till night and go to sleep. A month until which none visited. Except on one evening, a Girl enters his circus, asking if its open. Madrid says “Hell yeah”.
He makes her laugh thoroughly, She found something in that canvas and it was Peace. Madrid didnt take a penny from her just kept her happy and she sure was. He loved his audience and she was his only fan now. Day in Day out it was show for her. He experienced something unknown for the first time and it was Love. He didnt express. It was more than 5 months now she was coming to see his act.
Some months before while she was returning back home with her date, fuel in their car got empty. Bored in car while her date went to get fuel, she walked into circus. That was her first day of peace and his as well. She unknowingly loved his act and him. Sometimes after the play they would sit together and share their past. Knowing his past and her respect in him she was feeling special. Time he got with her was only when she came to his show in the eve. She convinced herself to get engaged with the guy who was with her since times.
She got engaged, which she expressed to madrid. That moment was more worse than the time when his circus was stolen. With her on seat, he started the show. She was looking into his eyes madly feeling worse to be with him, she knew what he might be going through and she loved him too. She was ready to say him that she loves him at the end of the show. She later gave a thought to say about it to her fiancee first and propose madrid the next day, She surely knew he loved her too she could see that in his eyes.
After the show she got back home and called her fiancee and spoke about this to him respecting her feelings he took a step back. Dressing herself up next day for the show and to say him what she wanted to, other side he wanted to deliver his best that day.
As soon as she got in he gave her a letter asked her to open it after she reaches back home. She was happy, she thought the letter had words what she practiced the previous night for him. That letter which he had written more than 15 times the previous night. That eve’s show was his best. She didn say a word but rushed back home to read the letter.
Reaching home she read the letter. She rushed back to Madrid after reading the letter. Tears on her cheeks and driving fast to reach. Shocked to see him no more. He sat on the chair she watched his show, consumed poison and gave up his life. He had burnt his circus into ashes. Where she sat was the place he breathed last.
The Circus was you. You were here so it continued. First day you came in and hopefully enjoyed the act. I had decided the same time that this effort was meant for you. I was a failure and I didnt want you to be with such, I didnt deserve Well, My name was “Waste” for a reason. The moment i felt gone was when I got to know that you are engaged, circus is closed my love, I couldn act too much no more. I am burning the circus as you leave. This without you, who will watch ? It did take more than a decade to build. But having it empty is more painful than not having it at all. I could never tell you what I always wanted to, I am not telling it now too. Have a happy life. I feel happy to breathe my last on the chair you sat.