When I die, I don’t want to look like a tribute to Lakme’ or Botox. I don’t want my body to rot against some silicone implants. I don’t want a fake complexion with my face completely covered under layers of foundation and makeup. I want people to look at me and see the life I have lived. The scars that show the pain that I have endured. The wrinkles that creases in between them, witness to the years that I have lived. 

Oh yes, and I want big visible laugh wrinkles…I absolutely love seeing old people who have laugh wrinkles…It feels like it’s a tribute to all those happy years that they had enjoyed. Maybe, I won’t eat olives and rub milk and egg yolk all over my face. Maybe, I’ll even have dark circles from all those all-nighters I pulled in college. Maybe, those childhood bruises on my knees will never go away. Maybe, those scars from the horrifying acne-filled adolescent years are going to show on my face forever. And maybe my age will in the end, get the best of me….but I don’t mind. I love the fact that I still have a bruise on the sole of my feet from when I was 12. And I love the way I can look at my body and not just see Ponds on my face, Maybelline on my eyes and Lakme’ on my fingernails. Maybe I’m not going to be on the next Top Model show...but I love the way I look…and I love the way I keep changing with age and with life. I may not turn a lot of heads, but I am happy with their heads turned away. 

I am what I am. I am healthy. I eat well. And I live my life well. And for me, that’s good enough. And that is what I want to take to my grave, not a man-made sculpture filled with chemicals, all for the satisfaction of onlookers. 

A small boy is handed grenades in Iraq, while a girl barely reaching puberty is forced out of her clothes in Calcutta. A baby is secretly sold and a boy forced to dance in women’s clothing for money in Afghanistan. A girl is lost in Mexico and found the next day with a cut in her abdomen; a kidney missing. Do you still want me to continue?

I could show you statistics.

Death toll world wide of children killed in armed conflict within the decade: 2,000,000

Children injured or disabled in armed conflict at the same time period: 6,000,000

Do they deserve to suffer in your battles?

Children subjected to child abuse each year: 40,000,000

Third leading cause of death in adolescents around the world: Suicide

Society has brought mockery towards children to such an extent that the childhood of most is lost before it could even begin. Child rape, harassment, bullying, trafficking, labor, torture…the list is terrifying and the length of it is shocking.

How sick does your mind have to want to break a child’s innocence? How sick do you have to be to turn away from it and pretend it does not concern you? Is there really much of a difference when both the actions result in the same end result; the death of a childhood? Do you really want to be that person who looks at the abused but does not see their pain? Hears their cries but doesn’t listen to the agony?

You could blame it on anger issues. You could say it’s the way it is; the way it has always been done. You could justify it by saying that it was well-deserved. You could scream that it was not their responsibility. But you would all be wrong. Yes it has been that way for centuries… In ancient Rome, fathers had the authority to sell, kill, maim, sacrifice or otherwise do with a child as he saw fit. Sexual abuse within the family has always existed, in spite of a universal taboo. From Biblical literature, to the Inca, to the Egyptians, virtually all types of incest are described. And in England and the Americas, during industrialization, children were placed in apprenticeships, workhouses, orphanages, placement mills, factories, farms, and mines. In England, 5-year-olds worked 16-hour days in factories while shackled in chains. They were often whipped to get them to work harder. But just because it has been that way, doesn't mean it’s the right way.

It’s time to mend our ways. To defend the defenseless. To create a safe haven for our future generation. Perhaps the situation is not as drastic in Maldives. But the way we are heading…it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know we are in for a lot of trouble. Take a look at Male’ and you’ll see my point in a second. Girls of 12 in dresses that cover nothing, giving it all away in a cheap hotel. Little boys acting like thugs and shoving knifes into each other…just for fun. We could say it’s just the way they are…if it was just one child loosing their way. But when you see the same thing happening with every adolescent that walks the streets of Male’, you have to question. Who is it that needs to be blamed? The parents that never had the time to teach their children proper etiquette and manners because they were too busy making enough money to barely survive? The authorities that show no mercy to the kids that roam the streets and thus create hatred in kids’ hearts towards the ones that are supposed to be protecting them? Or the government for the lack of facilities and laws that provide haven for them?

You still think you are doing the right thing? You still think it’s the way it should be? Are your actions really justified?

(artwork taken from cyanide and happiness)
 The beauty of Spring so luscious
The waters that run through so clear
The vines that twine in through us
Oh Dear God, don’t you fear?
Where has the world gone…?

Cold and awake I dream of you
Of moments of joy invincible by truth
Seethed in my heart, stored in my head
I never envisioned a better regret
Oh Dear Love, don’t you know?
Where had it gone wrong…?

Through tangles of webs and ashes with dust…
We rose together in one final thrust
Do you realize that what was, is gone?
Do you know it was never born?
Oh Dear Child, don’t you know?
Where has the innocence gone…?

Creep through the shadows
Lie alone in the shades
I fear nothing but what fear allows
For everything changes and the day fades
Oh Dear Sun, don’t you know?
Where in the world have the nights gone?