Thursday, January 06, 2005


The weekend is here... in Bangladesh Fridays are the only off days we get... it's their prayer day. So the week starts on a Saturday. Sucky huh?

Mosquitos are starting to irritate me... two bit my face while I was trying to sleep...

Took a walk along another side of the neighbourhood today... a significantly busier stretch.

This little beggar boy, who behaves as if he's 4 or 5, but only the size of a 3-year-old, followed us along the entire street, across roads and all, just to get more money from us. Gave him 2TKs, and a little girl 3TKS, but it wasn't enough for him. So he just followed us for like 200 m before I gave him another 2 TKs and he turned around and left.

The whole journey, I just smuiled and said "Na" to him (No in Bengali). And he smiled back, chattering away impishly, presumably asking me for more money. He was filthy, covered in a layer of dust and grime and barefoot.

He had so much life in him you know? He didn't look tired, or hungry, or sad. Just chattered happily and smiled hopefully at me. The only reason why I didn't give him more money at first was because I somehow knew he would be following us till we did anyway, and I wanted to see a bit more of him.

Then I wondered where he would sleep tonight, what he ate everyday that made him so small, what kind of happiness he found that gave his eyes so much life. I imagined if I could kidnap him and raise him by myself and give him a better life.

There are many others like him.

Another boy, about 12, crawled up on his hands to my rickshaw when it stopped at a traffic light, covered in plastic tubes so it seemed as if he was a cripple. But then I saw a man standing at the roadside looking on, and I knew that was his boss, and I knew he wasn't handicapped - all just a sham. But the sight of someone reaching up to you on his knees begging you... the lights turned green before I could find any loose change.

shalini told me "if u see a woman begging carrying a baby - the baby isn't hers". IT's difficult to remember that when she's right next to you.


Mervin said...

Hey ya! Glad to know you've settled down well, or at least kinda. Take care, work hard and have fun!