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Two Hungry Kids

They saw me before I saw them.

"Namaste auntie," they called.  "Pehchaan, na?" (Do you recognize us?)

Of course I did.  Kalu and Chalu.  They two youngest children of Chunni, the woman who used to work as a servant in my house.

Chunni has worked in our house at two jobs for the last dozen years or so, off and on.  She used to wash our dishes morning and evening and sweep and wash the floor.  She knows me well and my children too.  She's currently out of our house because she overstepped the mark with my mother-in-law.  An understandable mistake, but fatal if one happens to be an employee.

Kalu was her seventh child.  Chalu was an afterthought.  When she found out he was on the way, she got a bit of a shock but soon took it in her stride.

Kalu and Chalu don't go to school.  They can often be observed, eight and ten years old, roaming the streets and playing.

I was happy to see them that they as they were to see me.  Kalu in particular, has a lovely wide smile.

Then they told me they were hungry.  They wanted me to buy them a packet of chips (We call them crisps in Ireland).  Mummy had gone to work they told me, having given them nothing for breakfast.

It may or may not have been true, but my heart went out to them just the same.  I didn't give a commitment to give them something but I was thinking.  A packet of chips wouldn't give them much nutrition.  I thought maybe I should buy them a packet of glucose biscuits.  They would be better and more filling.

I reached the local shop and my problem was solved.  The small shop has recently opened a section selling hot snacks, including samosas, which are  hot pastries  filled with spicy potato.  Samosas are very tasty and filling.  I bought some samosas for me and my children and when I came out of the shop, I gave one each to Kalu and Chalu too.  I was rewarded by two big, broad smiles.  They walked away eating the snack, delighted.

As I was walking home, I thought why should any child go hungry when these lovely snacks are available for a mere three rupees each?

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