Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Shock to the senses

I just got back from Dhaka……..a place that in my opinion is a hell hole. Not because of the poverty and filth, but the corruption that accompanies that poverty and filth. The huge disparity between the have’s and the have not’s makes you believe in the law of karma. Why is it that some people are so blessed and the others can’t even put a morsel in their mouth.
The sight of semi naked, hungry , impoverished children makes me cringe at my excessive lifestyle. Every time I go to Bangladesh , I wish I can do something for these children who surround the car with their hands spread and their eyes despondent and melancholy , but all I do is either buy them some biscuits and fruit or just pretend not to see them and walk away.
It is amazing, how one gets immune to the poverty , the filth and the inability to make a difference. Every time I arrive in Dhaka, the first few days are a shock to the senses, but then slowly and surely I get inured to my surroundings and become oblivious to the futility of existence of these so called humans.
I may be completely out of line denigrating their existence , maybe they are completely satisfied in their state and because they don’t know any better don’t want any better, or maybe they look at me and ask themselves, WHY……. why does she have all that she does and I have nothing. I can only speculate as to what their brain must think.
Where on the one side you see the extreme poverty, on the other you see the excess seen in any first world country. I happened to be there when a well known DJ …Bally Sagoo, was in Dhaka for one night only. The tickets to the evening were sold out, each ticket costing about 40 USD . With about 1500 people queuing to get in , jostling to get a drink averaged at 6 USD and a plate of samosas costing 5 USD, one wonders about the poverty just outside those big wooden doors.
This is nothing new for me. Having grown up in India, I was very used to this sight of beggars outside five star hotels or any place that indulged in people’s fantasies, but I never did pay much attention to it. It was a part of life and one learn’t to accept it and ignore it. But now I find it more and more difficult to just accept it , ignore it and move on. Maybe because I am now a mother who feels responsible , or maybe because of my privileged lifestyle which demands introspection, or it’s just that time in life when there is a calling to do something.
I still have not been able to figure out a way to make a difference, but somehow, somewhere the seed has been planted and I hope I can do something…………even if it is to help one human being.
Each of us has the capability to make a difference. I just hope I can.


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