Month: February 2016

Dear Grief,

Hello. You have become a more predictable friend now. I met you when I was suddenly introduced to loss. The sharp, sick taste of loss. Metallic, angry, harsh, incomprehensible and gut wrenchingly sad. There was no formal introduction. You just entered and settled down like a blanket. You enveloped me for a long time, so much so, that I didn’t realise you had become my second skin.

Then, one day, I recognised you clearly in my daily routine and my comfort food and my weight gain and I felt strangely relieved. At least now, I knew. From that point on, I’d observe how you would drop in from time to time, often when I least expected you. In the middle of a hearty laugh or a brilliant book or a formal dinner, you’d deliver a sucker punch in my solar plexus and I’d double up in pain. Gasping. Screaming silently. Reeling from the hit. And then you’d disappear again and I’d go back to life that would relentlessly urge me to hop on and get a move on.

So, I alternated for a while between grief and life. I learnt that as you grow older the losses pile up and the wheel turns again. And again.

Now you come and go, as and when you please. I learn to ride your crests and troughs. I learn to embrace life and treasure the love I have.

Still warily,
Your host.

Dear old man on the street,

I look at you from within the comfortable confines of my car and watch how you make your way from auto to car to car to auto to bus to auto to scooter to mobike to car … asking for alms. You carry a 6month old baby in your arms and use her to appeal to people’s conscience. You are probably part of a racket that contributes apparent millions to an industry made of the the old, the weak, the physically handicapped, the lepers, the young and the babies. An industry that thrives within the underbelly of the city.
However brilliantly this industry functions, I can’t help thinking that this is no life for anyone. Why should such a vast multitude of people be deprived of education and of the right to live with dignity?
What would you do if you didn’t have to beg anymore? What would it feel like to not wake up one morning and walk through traffic fumes and the noise pollution and not put out out your arm in appeal for money? What would you much rather do? You’d probably dismiss it as a naive question from an entitled person.
I do wonder often times. Sometimes from guilt. Sometimes from anger and sometimes from plain curiosity. Most times from apathy … as I watch and turn away when you come to my window.
I do wish this world could be a better place for all.
From an observer