A moment of contentment

A knock on the door. He, often, rings a bell. But, nowadays, he pounds a gate to prevent electric shock from the bell. It’s been raining for days and bell gives you a jolt when you press it.

An up gradation. He has moved from donkey cart to a mini garbage rickshaw. He sifts through garbage to separate wet and dry. Rotten green vegetables, meat bones, fruit rinds and peels, eggshells, stale roti and bread. At times, his hands slit by the jagged shards of glass.

How would you stand the reek of filth from your house?

You provide him leftovers and sometimes full meal. You prefer to give charity in secret, but, at times, he scrounges the money. He toils in summer, in winter; whether its scorching heat or piercing cold, he’s there to collect the garbage. Imagine a day off or if the whole clan goes on strike or moves to another job. How would you stand the reek of filth from your house?

He sometimes envies his brother who collects garbage in a green truck in neighboring town. He climbs in the truck, goes down all the streets, and jumps off in front of each house to pick up the garbage bag.

His brother often mocks him, “I know what it is to work.”

“You? Do you know how I work in searing heat? The worst kind of waste I scavenge each day. I clean it all with my bare hands.”

He often looks at the houses he passes by and thinks how everyone lives a different life. He also possess the same rights as you but lives in abject poverty as compared to you. It doesn’t matter whether he likes his job or not, because this job keeps him busy and his only source of income for nearly half of the decade.

He feels a moment of contentment and moves on.

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