Today we are shooting interviews with young boys at Bal Ashram in the open, airy courtyard of their dormitory. A little boy called Vikky with a head of neatly combed black hair and a beautiful, devilish smile is a little charmer. He apes the big boys, plays their cricket, though is not allowed to compete with them, apes their dance moves and is just waiting to take the stage. What misfortune has befallen him that he would have to be rescued to save his life?
Vikky does not remember. No amount of counseling has yet unlocked the not-at-all-distant past of this boy – not to him or anyone. Brought to Bal Ashram from a “raid and rescue” mission in Delhi, he has no family claiming him. He has no family that can be dredged up in his memory. Or rather, he has no family he is willing to remember.
Today Vikky is open, bright-eyed, an easy maker of new friends. Every day his brutal past is farther and farther gone. The big boys are all over him, helping him to adjust. The counselor lives next door, her arms around him and his friends every morning. Vikky’s big eyes and beautiful smile are open for all to see – bad memories, for now, under lock and key.