……and the man he was

by afatqiamat

I watched him daily, every morning when I would have my breakfast at Quetta Talash Hotel , he would come on his Suzuki   filled with 10-12 beggars  —  after unloading them ,for half and hour  it would be like a Fish Market , Beggars yelling at each other and him and he yelling back at them , using the choicest expletives for them .

Then all the beggars would disperse , and he would come to the Quetta Talash Hotel , and have a cup of tea usually silently  and go .

Today unusually he looked at me and looked at my “Bun Mukhan” , yelled …. “Chootay aik Bun Mukhan bhi laa….. “ …..
Then had a deep observatory look at me , weighing me, judging me , and considering me , then with a squat in his eyes…. Bluntly started ….

“ The house rent is 8000 , electricity bill 2000-2500 , Gas 1500-1800 , I have 20-22 machines , some left over , some too weak , some nearly insane , some rejected by their relatives , then paused and said again ………… even sons and daughter have thrown them out , 5-6 of them are blinds, 8-10 disabled , …….and the remaining good for nothing .

Then after another silence of three four minutes , I too have a family of 5 , …then there are 4 other , each of them have families ….. we too have expenses …    These machines , they bring 3000-3500 per day , all 20-22 of them , some bring less , some more  , then he again felt silent , …….and after a while continued ……….. I wanted my child to be educated ,………… he had an accident ……. , ……and now he too sits with them……. Brings 400-500 daily now , I am a father ,it hurts me …..but that’s how life is.     …..then again raised his eyes , ………….and looked deeply in mine , and continued , …. People think we are cruel , we exploit , …..we earn from them…..but look at them , they are all rejects , no one is willing to even touch them …..even look at them .
We give them , a roof to sleep at night , we give them food , we give them cloths , we keep them safe from other hooligans , ….from Police …..from other gangs ,…. We treat them when they are ill, bury them when any one of them die …….and in return , they extract sympathy money from the society for themselves, for us ………… Is that a bad bargain ….??
The whole world is a market , you pay …you earn , some time you pay with you blood , and in return earn nothing but bad name …. This is how we are …..And…………Left.

………. I was left speechless , a volcano erupted inside me, a torrent of conflicting emotions , …….an explosion ……….and it swept away all my morality , I kept wondering who is cruel and who is kind,…….are they doing injustice …..exploiting or …what …?

Then I did not sae him for days…. Some other guy , in the same Suzuki was doing his job ………. Then one day I saw him again , again doing the same …. The same yelling the same expletives hurled at beggars ….whom he called his machines ,….then he again came to the Quetaa Talash hotel , sat at the same chair ,……looked again at me eating the same Bun Makhan…….. But it seemed he did not recognized me .. there was the look of a stranger ………. I wanted to ask him some thing ,…..about his child ,his own child , ….who was now working as his machine…… but with that stranger look in his eyes……… I could not.                And today ….with out even drinking my tea , ……. I stood up and left….    Empty minded , ……filled with a hollow feeling …….an unexplainable feeling for feeling helpless …….a conflicting feeling……a feeling which I could not name….a guilt that kept lingering with me ….for weeks..

PS : its a crude translation with some changes from one of my own iLogs…..published elsewhere…

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