February 13, 2007


I got a chance to visit a mall this week. Not that this was my first time visiting a mall, or anything like that, but maybe, because of the state of mind I was in or some other reason, this time, it was a different experience.

A few days back, I, along with my brother, went to an eating place. It was the kind of place where you have tables arranged in the open, you get your food from the counter, find a table and eat. While we were eating, a little girl, dressed in rags, walked to the dust bin, dipped her hands inside, brought out some leftovers, and began to eat hungrily.

She didn’t mind that people looked at her, stared in fact. Some with pity, some disdain, some with total indifference. What struck me was that at no point did she try to beg for food; at no point did she try to approach any of the people who were eating. Maybe she knew, from experience, that none of them would help her, even though they could easily afford to. She just quietly dipped into the waste bin, licked whatever was left on the plates, and didn’t mind who looked. She was looking around and our eyes met. I couldn’t bear to look into those eyes, and I had to look the other way. Whn I looked back, she was till eating and looking at me; her eyes seemed to say:

“I understand this is my fate, you don’t have to be sorry for me.”

A thousand thoughts crossed my mind. I wanted to help her, I needed to. I think I would have slept better that night if I had. But, she was gone before I could think of a way to help her. Like always, I had thought too much, and lost my chance.

Then only recently I visted a mall. There were kids there too, but of a different kind. Most were in their teens, enjoying the mall and all that it had to offer. Now, I really do not blame anyone for enjoying the things that money can buy them. After all, it’s their money and they have worked hard for it, so they should be able to enjoy spending it . But, it seemed unlikely that many in that mall had earned the money they were spending.

And, to me, it seemed so false, so hollow, and so unfair. Just a few blocks away from the mall there were slums, where people did not even get clean water to drink, and here we were paying a dollar for a bottle of water...A few miles away there used to live a man who kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered 45 (even more, by some counts) children aged 3 to 21over a period of three years.

Did that mall had a right to exist there? I asked myself that question, and then looked around and the answer that seemed to be in every corner of the mall and on every face on the wall was a resounding YES!

Everyone seemed to be glad that they were there. Maybe it provided them with an escape from the reality that our lives have now become. But sooner or later, the curtain falls, it does for everyone, and reality shows itself in its stark nudity, wrinkles, warts and all.

I hope when that happens, we, the humanity, are prepared for it.

(On a different note, check out why, I think, Valentines day should be loved by one and all on www.neobluepanther.com)


Noi said...

I do not think all of humanity will ever be ready for it.

However, even if only a fraction of humanity do something about it to change, there will be a huge difference.

Demon23... said...

I find this post interesting but suffering is a part of our condition... we are cursed and blessed.

Every light their is darkness. For every healthy child there is a dead one... for every good human being there is a bad one... yin and yang. Life is life... suffering is a man made condition that we inflict upon ourselves.

What stark nude reality do you speak of? Denial? hmmm not sure if that it is that simple as lying to ourselves. I think faith is a great way to lie to ourselves. However I never tire of lying to me...

Blue Panther said...

Noi: True!

Demon23:Thank you for finding the post interesting and taking time to comment on it.

I agree with most of what you say but sometimes we get so used to seeing the good around us that we begin to imagine that the bad does not exist, until it happens to us. That is what I meant.

cooltopten said...

Through suffering comes our salvation.

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