The thousands of kids that work in the filth of the food huts at the side of the roads dismissed their childhood with the same dignity. On their faces, a serious and responsible look drive them throughout the night. Only a candy offered with a genuine caress can scratch it and take out a tender smile to honour their age. I like to think that Raj and all the other kids wait for Sundays to play. I do not really think they have any day off, but I still want to imagine them joining the street children that I saw playing in the Ganga for a full day. For miles and miles down the river chasing the ferry boat to make it their acrobatic trampoline once and thousands of times, because the breath strains but never breaks, not when you are a kid, not on a Sunday.
Their lives mingle with all the others in the crowd of Kolkata, which spare the road only at night, when the bookshops close and the charming yellow taxis stop milling around the traffic lights. Then, only the homeless bodies stay behind, laying on the world like the leftover of the tide on the beach, cuddled by a reassuring breeze and wrapped in the smoke of burning plastic to protect against the mosquitos. Their dirty feet stick out from the pathways, newspapers and truck’s roofs. When the heat of the sun will be back, they then will start to flow again.