Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Silent hunger

We met her for the first time yesterday. We have met her so many times before - and though she had different names the story was the same.

Her husband is poisoning himself to death. The slow and heady poison purchased at the local liquor shop.

He beats her. When drunk and when not drunk.

Work? A memory.

He has told her that if there is any night without food she will pay for it.

And so there are nights when the kids look at their mother. No words are exchanged - just a look.

She has no words to answer and they understand. They pull the covers over their heads and try to sleep.

- o - o - o - o - o - o - o -
She has come because he is sick. Sick for months now. Can we help. Maybe if he gets better things will get better.
Some have said - it would be better for her that he not get better.
Sheba talks with her about repenting and forgiveness. The ladies eyes latch on. A small light has opened. Maybe he will get a bit better - to understand his real situation. To repent and set things right.

- o - o - o - o - o - o - o -

Meanwhile the air is full of the dull bass thumping of massive loudspeakers. The current festival is underway. Huge hoardings of the local political party dot every intersection. Massive sheds have been constructed to house the local worthies as liquor fuels the groups of revellers - teams of enthusiasts who make human pyramids recreating a mythic deed - and get the ever bloating sums of money given as prizes.
Where does that money come from? Not from the heavens. From the pockets of local people who are forced to fork up or else.
The children under the blankets at night are no where in sight.

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