Daily Archives: October 21, 2017

#LittleHumans Of Loni – Baabu

“What’s that on your hand?”
“It’s a tattoo!”
“You make it everyday?”
“Yes! Without fail. With a pen!”
“Why does it say ‘Aai’? (in devanagari) And not your mother’s actual name?”
“Because she’s always been “Aai”. And she’ll always be “Aai”!”

What’s his story?

Baabu, is the only boy amongst a group of girls. This 13 years old wants to become an engineer when he grows up. He keeps spitting everywhere, almost as if its happening unconsciously. Although he sits on dogs and troubles them a bit, he loves playing with them.

 Baabu is naughty and mischevious, but has a softer side. His love and bond with his mother was apparent through his tattoo.

 

#LittleHumans Of Loni – Jyoti

“You’ve got such beautiful hair, Jyoti !”

“I know! But I want red hair.” (she giggles)
“Why?”
“Because red is my favourite colour!”

What’s her story?

We saw Jyoti, dressed in a faint yellow kurti, jumping over the ground, cautiously dodging the cow dung, carefully managing her shoulder length hair. She kept playing with her hair, taking them on one side, combing them by running her fingers through them, braiding them and loving her hair.

With so many students coming to Loni and these children noticing them, there is no doubt that they get influenced by what they see. Jyoti is no exception. Seeing young girls with coloured hair and new hairstyles, she too wants it for herself.

 

#LittleHumans Of Loni- Bubbly

“What kind of dance do you like?”
“Lavani !”
“Wow! Who teaches you? “
“Oh the television.. “
“Yeah? And what’s your real name?”
“Karishma! But everyone just calls me Bubbly!”

What’s her story?

 Dressed in a striking red kurti and 5-6 shimmering silver bangles on each of her hands, Bubbly’s eyes that spoke to us. Some of her friends said she loves to talk a lot and that she dances really well. This 12 year old agreed to her friends view of her and blushed rather happily. Bubbly goes to school too, in the neighbourhood.

Of all the dances, she chose Lavani, which is a traditional Maharashtrian dance form that has songs which are usually naughty and erotic in nature and almost usually performed for men. At her age, instead of watching cartoons her interests are watching song and dance. Is this exposure encouraged by parents or due to access to the big bad web?

 

#LittleHumans Of Loni- Disha

“So, what do you want to become when you grow up?”

“Whatever my parents plan, “she said very plainly.
“No, but what do you want to become?”
“Whatever my parents wish, “she said without looking up.

(After we kept prodding, she drew herself away and became a bit awkward. We tried asking her again.)
“So what have they planned for you?”

“I don’t know yet. But I’ll do whatever they decide.”

“Forget your parents for a moment. What if you are given a choice? Then what?”
“Police.”
“Why police?”
“Because my father is one!”

What’s her story?

Disha, appeared confident and mature, amongst other children we met. Even if she had just woken up, she had bright red ribbons braided into her hair. She is 13 years old and attends a local school, opposite her house.

Although Disha comes across as confident, she is scared to admit what she wishes to become one when she grows up. Being a girl has an impact on how far you can dream. Despite her father being a police, she does not have the freedom to do the same, let alone the freedom to think it or say it out loud.

#LittleHumans Of Loni

 

“See! This is our favourite dog!!”

“Yeah? I don’t think he likes me much. He’s just pointing his ‘bum’ at me!”

And then the picture happened.

What’s their story?

Loni, a village about 20kms from Pune is on the Pune – Solapur Highway as well as the main Pune – Secundarabad Railway. The Mula-Mutha passes close to the village. The popular Bollywood actor Raj Kapoor owned a farm close to the village too. A number of scenes in his movies including Bobby and Satyam Shivam Sundaram were shot in this vicinity. The farm is now the location of the MIT Design Institute.

Since Loni has a number of colleges, like design, naval, food technology, engineering, with students coming from all over India, it is a comparatively modern village. The people of Loni are still getting used to people wearing crop tops and ripped jeans and coloured hair and students smoking publicly. They are still getting used to changes happening around them, affecting their lifestyles too. But the influence amongst the villagers doesn’t go unnoticed.

As we take the village road, there is a huge ground right opposite the weekly market place. This space is like a dumping ground, with garbage, faeces, rotten vegetables and broken down cars all over. The public toilet is within the same premises. The foul odour in this place is a constant. The children we interacted with, stay right behind the public toilets.

Anandita Palsule, film making student and Chinmayee Bagade, graphic designing student of MIT Institute of Design, Pune, design learners who enjoy traveling, meeting new people and telling unique stories. This week they tell us stories of children from the village of Loni. #LittleHumans #LittleHumansofLoni