A Tiffin box, which had a lower significant value in our respective life; was a dominant factor for Stanley. Stanley and his short story revolve around his struggle for food during school recess and a series of events associated with it. Stanley’s struggle for an afternoon meal; makes one feel really privileged that we have/had a relatively simpler life.
Stanley used to go school hours before school start time and never used to bring his afternoon meal. But, he didn’t faced any discrimination from his classmates. Nobody in his school was unaware about his family whereabouts and reasons for not bringing his meal, but they all shared their tiffins with Stanley during recess. But it was a teacher of them who use to forcefully eat meal of the kids, verbally abused and discriminated Stanley for not bringing his afternoon meal. In the later part of the story Stanley devised a solution for this problem.
The screenplay of the above simple story is very intense, which is reflected through the love of Stanley’s classmates towards him. The narrations of Stanley were artistically presented. Those fake narrations later revealed as the tactics of Stanley to hide his sorrow and show the world how happy his life is. Stanley ka dabba which appeared a simpler story in its initial 90% had an intense climax when it was revealed that Stanley was recently orphaned. His caretaker uncle is using him as a child labour in his filthy restaurant. A sudden transformation of a bright school kid into a child worker at a restaurant cleaning tables and serving water was a shock to the audience. The luminance of Stanley at school was eclipsed by the darkness of this social evil. He represented and even looked like a child worker in ours’ neighbourhood who is everywhere known as ‘chotu’. Stanley’s story says that every single child workers which we have seen but ignored has got a unique story of them; their dreams, aspirations, struggles, cries & laughs, the reasons, and the ignorance from the society. There are many Stanleys’ in our country and other parts of the world, who are engulfed by the devil called child labour.
The haunting questions (also reasons for writing this blog) which an audience is left with is what as an individual who has got a relatively far simpler life than Stanley is going to do after watching this movie. What is the social responsibility of “me” as an individual who has always known but ignored this social evil. As a hobby economist, one has always condemned child labour and seeked government to be proactive and eradicate the evil. But what has really been done to kill this social evil by an individual like us. Answer from writer of this blog is ‘nothing significant’. Why one is feeling so pity for Stanley after watching his background in the dark hall of multiplex. Why the child labours in bright day light are successful in being unnoticed? Why we don’t feel pity for them?
Stanley had some unfair attributes to his personal story, which nobody knew in his brighter side of life. His sorrows were empowered by his cute narrations of how his mother prepared last night’s leftover unsold restaurant food with the efforts and affection involved. This was packed by the cook (unofficial but actual guardian of Stanley) of his uncle’s restaurant. In the end, that dabba was shared with every important character of the story excluding the ‘gormandize but no apologize’ teacher of Stanley who left the school out of a self guilt for discriminating Stanley for not bringing meal to school. Stanley’s strength to hide his tragedy and associated sorrows asked a big question, how strong enough you are as a person to deal with your daily life problems?