a tired smile

Come walk with me on a late afternoon on any given day and you’ll definitely smile at the sight of screaming, giggling and laughing children playing with wanton abandon.  Enjoy that smile because it’s not going to last.  This is one part of the world where population growth has been increasing exponentially while the  standard of living has been going the other direction.  The millennia old marching order remains the same despite the difficult life – go forth and multiply.

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It is very common to see a family of 5,6,7,8,9, 10 or more, but nobody ever asked the mothers if they would like to have that many children.  Of course some will argue that having that many children is a blessing, but for whom is this blessing?  For the children who have to share  a bowl of noodles for lunch and dinner?  Or for the parents who have to content themselves with whatever is left after all the kids have eaten?  There are exceptions, though.  Some large families have managed to do well and live comfortable lives, but that is only a small part of the demography.  The majority is stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty, and here we have people dictating on state policies, people who will never know what it is like to be a mother of 10 who is living in the slums and too busy taking care of the kids and other household chores that there is no time to find work.  And what if one child gets sick?  Theories and dogma seem to be so out of touch with reality, and the sad part is that those who think they know what’s best are usually people who live in comfort.  They too are so out of touch with reality.

We’re past the 100 days mark from the storm of the ages.  People are still living in makeshift shanties with no relocation sites ready for them to go to.  Many places are still without electricity.  Consumer goods are expensive, and public transport ceases to operate after dark.  There have been one too many stories of drivers finding their fully loaded vehicle suddenly without any passenger, or some drivers dropping passengers off at houses where all residents have supposedly perished in the storm surge.  These stories will only continue to grow in number.

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This is at Anibong.  It has been a long time since I last saw a gas lamp (Petromax as it is called here despite the brand being a Coleman or Butterfly).  I would like to see it lit after it has been repaired.

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People have resorted to riding on 2 wheels.  I too have been on my motorcycle a lot more often, and a weekly bicycle ride whenever I needed some fresh air.  Vulcanizing shops are enjoying the good business.

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It’s almost dinner time and there are still some customers waiting.  This is tiring work.

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20 thoughts on “a tired smile

  1. I am smiling back, because they are:) wonderful set, once again! thank you for an eloquent and heartwarming story telling and images that speak volume..

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