Some days ago, an old man with black bamboo legs and thin snowy hair picked up twenty kilograms of white stone for twenty rupees. He took it down the steps to dump it near the trucks by the river. I don’t know if he had a bed to lay on that night. He did not even have slippers on his cracked feet.
Not far from him, sat a homeless angel with the smile of a magazine cover model and the dirty covering of an African Chief- red, yellow, blue. His hair had probably remained unwashed for a year or two. But with all his dirt, he was beautiful.
Today, I watched him again. He was not smiling anymore. I wonder if he was hungry as he watched the young men who sipped cabbage soup some forty metres away.
On the other side of the highway, in a makeshift shack, a young boy sat and sold flour dumplings that his mother had made. The money would go to his father’s drinking perhaps. He and his mother would make do with leftover flour.
There were slum children on the same side of the street trying to catch a bus for free. None would stop for them but they were not willing to spend seven hard-earned rupees on the bus fare. They had to walk. And I watched them as I sat in a comfortable car.
On the same highway, ten minutes away, is the city mall where men and women of wealth go to buy works of exploited children in an oriental country. They will pay heavy sums for the company’s sake. The children will have no share.