Neighbours on the move

Our residential locality is slowly becoming a commercial district. Old houses give way to new construction. Besides the dust, noise and debris, we face the problem of resident labourers. These migrant workers double up as night watchmen. One such family lives a few feet away from my house in a shed the builder has impudently erected. This family’s belongings are meagre and children many.

The woman does back-breaking work from dawn to dusk. The man doesn’t appear to be too bad either. He has so far fought loudly with the wife only once after getting drunk. But the clatter of firewood-chopping, children screaming and the family’s clothes washing at the crack of dawn have become irritants. Tattered clothes are hung everywhere. All of us in the neighbourhood have only grumbled without taking any concrete action. Seeing the family from such close quarters also makes some of us feel guilty about our comparative affluence. The children don’t go to school obviously and are always running around. The youngest still suckles at his mother’s breast. He is street smart and can snatch the ball from another kid if no one is watching. The TV in any house is a major attraction for the children. They sit near the threshold or peep through the window. They disperse when asked to go away, only to be back minutes later. We choose then turn off the TV.

The family will soon go away. Our street will be cleaner and less noisy, till another building is demolished.  Imagine the effects of such displacement on these children’s education and well being.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry