Should I stay or should I go?

A better look at the obstacles that might keep you from planning your trip now.

IMG_2842

Seven in the morning. The start of a new and unexciting working day. Your manager starts screaming at you and everyone is stressed out. You start counting hours, and dream of exotic places.  New cultures,  other lifestyles, foods you have never  seen and meeting people from all countries. You wish you could leave the Rat Race , pack your bag and see the world. And you can, everything is possible.

But you see obstacles, not having enough money, not knowing what to expect and a lot of uncertainties. So you keep it as something for the future. You can’t quit your job and leave your safety net in times of crisis. What will your family say? You are forced to stay an unhappy member of the Rat Race. Or not? Continue reading

Children of the Streets

India, 2012

So many, and so hard to ignore. Children who are forced into adulthood at an age that that they should be playing with Fisher-Price instead.

I see them everywhere I go. Most of them are in smaller groups asking for chapati, money, chocolate, pens, or whatever they can get. They know exactly how to present themselves in order to get something out your wallet.These children have been forced to learn.

arme man

They sleep in empty train wagons, inside construction pipes or under bridges.They might work in ragpicking or sort out garbage. Or they can be shoe-watchers, scammers, prostitutes, or a little bit of all the above. Every night they have to make sure to stay safe. Every day they have got to find enough to eat and to come back with some money. They might have sisters and brothers to look after. Their parents might be aggressive, addicted, too poor, ill, or they might be dead.These children have to be inventive, assertive and quick at all times to survive.

They all have their stories. Hollow eyes that have seen too much injustice in this world before being able to comprehend. They dream of a real future.To be some one, one day.

Some of them can be helped.And some of them are being forced to beg. By giving them money, or goods, the cycle keeps continuing. So how can we help them? A kind smile, will their souls still be able to notice? By playing football with them, and let them be a child for a small moment. By working with them every day, and trying to understand their reality?

CSC_4421

Children need investment, someone to turn to, and to be accepted by. Children need time to play,and to be taken care of, instead of being hit for not bringing back enough chapatti, or money, to their addicted parents.

It is a sad story. As an outsider, it is very limited what you can do. Showing them kindness, compassion, both are for free and can maybe make a tiny difference on their day. I hope.

And I hope, for each one of them their fate will change. Some day.

normal kids

A thief and a construction worker

Connaught place, New Delhi, 2012

I am standing next to a construction site. I see a skinny, poor looking man climbing over the fence of the construction site. He is trying to make his way in. He sneaks towards  the small hut of the construction workers and tries to go through their stuff. I look at him stumbling around the hut and wonder if someone else will notice.

The construction workers do. The skinny man gets caught. Loud voices, screaming. One of the construction workers starts chasing the thief with a big piece of steel. A cat and mouse game follows. The thieve runs for his life. If he gets caught he will be dead.

The whole event goes by unnoticed by most people. Just a daily occasion, nothing special. I am still trying to incorporate what just happened, to understand India. Again.

fairytale