Picking up rubbish in the poshest markets of Islamabad.The usual then.An older man in a white shalwar kameez about 28-30? is standing & watching him. He looks at the boy, turns away and looks back at the boy.
Suddenly the boy lifts his head towards the light- a nearly empty soda bottle gleams in the light. He squints & I can almost hear the slurping of the straw against the empty edges of the bottle.The older man motions enough; there is nothing more to drink.The boy throws it amongst the small pyramid of empty limo-soda (Lemon Soda) glasses.And like anyone satiated- quenched of their thirst in the scorching heat he smacks his lips together & wipes his arm across his mouth & walks away with contentment.
I remain frozen and the words I read as a thirteen year old swim before my eyes and pound my ears.
"Who Born Dog?".
An African tale of how a servant has to take care of a dog while his masters are on vacation. The dog sleeps on the settee.The dog eats special food while at home his children starve."Little pinpricks".Words I haven't read in almost a decade still resonate with me like fierce waves crashing against the shore. The servant kills the dog and takes the dog food home to his children. Who Born Dog?
A teenager in what should be his days of prime or at least of things that bring mirth & the joy of dreaming-spent riffling through a heap of empty soda glasses, trying to quench his thirst .
Replenish. Or Vicariously get a taste or the hint of a taste of luxuries he can never afford. Of a life that he can never aspire to have, because we have locked our doors so tightly with bolts of indifference & apathy to problems & lives we don't have time to consider.
So we make dogs of human beings. Let us not hope for clemency when our conscience has been this deep asleep impenetrable in it's walled fortress of aloofness.We have no reason; no justification, no pardon for the sins of our collective conscience, for the drawing room teat-time morality we preach yet fail to practice.
There is no reason, except known magnanimity to hope that on the day of true judgement God treats us more kindly then we treated His human beings.