Look inside yourself. What do you see? An empty black void that consumes your consciousness and slowly you get pushed into the deepest recesses of your entity. Your mind then shows you the truest reflections of what you are. The images seem disturbing yet one feels so intricately connected to them. Of all the things I see within myself, the endless search for something to quench the thirst of emptiness is the most rampant.  This somehow manages to reflect in my attitude towards life. Whatever I do, I involuntarily search for my own interest. This unending abyss swallowed my ability to empathize with another fellow human being. Somehow the experience of visiting the refugee camp in Shaheen Bagh lighted up a feeling of empathy which was lacking in me. Hundreds of family live in such miserable cramped quarters has led me to see the harsher reality of life. Although, I am gladdened to see that the miserable conditions have not dampened the spirit of the people living there. Strolling through the camp, I saw women gossiping and laughing quietly to themselves, men romancing the sunny afternoon and children running around screaming brimming with never ending joy. Seeing them made me realize how fulfilling and how joyful life can be in a settlement discarded from the rest of “us”.  They are so content and so happy with the way they live that it makes us forget everything. It broadened my eclipsed sense of humanity which still could not see the downtrodden. Often I do still think about the life which I have lived until now and which I aspire to live. Reminiscing over the events and the failures I dealt with and comparing them to the plight of these people was an eye-opener for me. I realized how the lives we lead are so artificial and so shallow. Once we get acquainted with the reality we realize how stupid have we been.  The stories of the Rohingya refugees are heart-wrenching. It makes us question our innate nature of always asking for more. Watching these people having nothing yet having everything had been a very enriching and enlightening.

Aayushya Ranjan