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Tears rolled down the cheeks of that boy. His mother had just beaten him left and right. He cried out of desperation. The metal collars fixed around his knees might have hurt him while he tried to walk. Along with that came beatings from his mother. His tears melted her. She hugged him and wiped his tears. She was about to cry, but held on.

There is a kind of loneliness poliomyelitis gifts its victims. A feeling of abandonment by the creator. As a child he would easily surrender to that pain unless somebody took up the fight for him. His mother was a woman who wouldn’t give up so easily. She held his hands and helped him to walk. Then she released him to his own path. But, the moment she released her hold, he fell.

Everybody around was walking. Cows and dogs were walking. There was a river nearby which was flowing gently. Even sand on the river bank was moving in the wind. Other children were leaping into water and playing. There was movement everywhere; a movement without pain. That boy might have felt completely helpless.

Sometimes intense anger and frustration come along with love. For everyone, walking was such a simple thing and why couldn’t this boy do it? May be because of this thought she beat him whenever he fell. Whenever he walked a couple of steps, there was tremendous joy on her face. Though short lived, it gave her hope; a hope may be only a mother can sustain.

Photographed on the banks of Godavari River at Bhadrachalam, Telangana State.