I had an eye-opening conversation today on Soul Lab Radio with writer Shelley Seale who just released her first book, The Weight of Silence: Invisible Children of India. In it, she chronicles her experiences visiting and getting to know a handful of the 25 million homeless children who live in slums, orphanages and on the streets. Many of the stories mirror those of the characters featured in the Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
Shelley is a freelance writer based out of Austin, Texas, but she has traveled around the world capturing stories of real people. Shelley has written for the Seattle Times, Washington Magazine, the Austin Business Journal, Intrepid Travel and Andrew Harper Traveler Magazine among others, and is the Sustainable Travel Columnist at The Examiner.
The Children of Slumdog Millionaire
Yesterday I had a very rare day “off” meaning that my son was living it up with the grandparents, husband had to work and I have myself a nice break. Whenever I have a few free hours, I love to catch a movie and yesterday it was Slumdog Millionaire. About halfway into it, I developed almost a blinding migraine. I have not experienced one in years. But I think watching two hours of orphaned Indian children being put through every possible human horror pretty much sent me over the edge. I am over-the-top sensitive to seeing any harm come to children or animals and I’ve found it nearly intolerable to listen to or watch negative images, harsh music or bleak storylines. Though the movie had a redemptive ending, it wasn’t enough to ward off my exploding head. So I headed home and took a long nap. Why, over the last few months, have I become increasingly sensitive to audio and video cues? I think it’s where my heart and mind have been going lately which is more to the internal, introspective worlds that feed the soul.