Wednesday, 18 April 2012


The indignities of being poor.

An HIV positive lady was talking to Sheba and Marise on Tuesday.

Her life is a royal mess.  And one of the strands concerns money.

This lady - who we will call Sheetal - had rented a room from another woman. 

As with many places in Mumbai she gave a deposit of Rs. 25,000/- to the land-lady.   After some time the land-lady gave Sheetal a necklace to wear.  Sheetal claims that it looked like it was gold - but what it really is she does not know.

One night, as Sheetal was sleeping with her children, she sensed someone in the room.  She felt a hand grab the chain around her neck, breaking it off, and saw a young man bolt for the door.

Sheetal recognised the man - it was the son of her land-lady.  She ran after him into the street, shouting for help.   He ran faster and escaped.

Sheetal went to the police and lodged a police complaint.

She told her land-lady about the theft.  Sheetal said she thought that the Land-lady's son was the culprit.  The Land-lady brushed off the accusation.  But she was surprisingly philosophical about the loss of the necklace.  'It was stolen from your neck... it could have been from mine.'  This surprised Sheetal alot.

Then the hammer fell.

Sheetal's Land-lady informed her a few weeks later, that she wanted Sheetal to leave the room, since someone else was coming.

Sheetal agreed - and asked for the deposit back.

The Land-lady refused - saying that the value of the necklace was 25,000/-.

Sheetal was devastated.   Her elder son even more so.  He seems to have lost his mind.  The boy mainly sits at the railway platform gazing into space.

Sheetal is trying to rebuild her life.  She has moved to a far off place where she only pays a deposit of Rs. 5000/-.

The life of the poor is rotten.  The widows and the orphans are preyed upon. 

What do you say to a story like this?

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