Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stories beyond the board - Homeless and destitude

Yesterday morning I saw him again. Right across the road from my office building is another building with a row of shops on the ground floor. He clearly stands out amongst the well-dressed men and women in their office attire. He must have been there for a couple of months now.

Everyone thinks he is a crazy lunatic. They judge him thus because of the dirty tattered clothes not washed in months. There is a tear in his trousers exposing part of his thighs. But mostly because he stands there with a wide smile. Sometimes he laughs to himself silently.   I think he should be around thirty but it is hard to tell his age from the dirt that covers his face. Certainly he is still a young man. A man who should have been at the prime of his life.  I wondor what were the circumstances that brought him to this point in his life. Why and how did he fail in society?  Or did society fail him instead?

Did he have no friends? Where are his family and do they know what had befallen him? Or maybe they do know and have forsaken him.

I wondor where he sleeps at night or if he feels hunger. Today he held a half full plastic cup of soya bean milk,  no doubt gifted by  the mobile vendor who plys his trade along the sidewalk a couple of feet away. So he knows how to feed himself. He cannot  be completely insane.

Sometimes I imagine myself in his place. No family, no friends, no home , no job and certainly no future. How would I behave? What would I do? What could I do? Would I try to act normal or would I pretend to be mad with a permanent smile, stand half naked on the side-walk and hope nobody pay attention to me?   Society deems that someone in this situation must be insane therefore I have to act insane. Any other behaviour will be abnormal.

Reading this you may now expect me to come up with some kind of moral or advice to the story. I'm sorry I do not have one.

I think I will look for my old pants I can give him since his is falling apart.


Anonymous said...

He must be the owner of the building!

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