Sunday, February 06, 2011


It used to be the same dream again and again. I would be walking down the railway bridge near Shornur. The Bharathappuzha below, mostly bare. And I would fall. I would see Leelacheriamma below. Raising her arms forward to catch me, running in from some distance. And Thud!! 
Unlike in the movies, I would not fall off from the bed. It just would remain as a striking feeling under my feet that shoots up the legs. And a thudding heart. 
And then, they somehow ended. 
Back in the early 90s we did not have cable tv and had to watch the boring state transmission in Abu Dhabi.Friday evenings were mostly camel races. Boring Camel races which I am pretty sure not too many people watched, most of the population being Malayalis. Never gave it much of a thought until I read a recent article.

The article dealt with human trafficking in general, concentrating on the Indian subcontinent. In between it described in chilling detail how children from countries here, especially from Bangladesh, were brought to the Middle East as Camel jockeys. The children, it seems are just between 2 and 6 years old since they prefer light riders. They place the child on the back of the camel and hand a whip. The children scream in fright driving the camel to run faster.

Is there absolutely no humane feeling left in the cold hearts?

Since reading this, every single night I have woken up sweating, a silent scream bursting out from inside, to find ammukkutty lying peacefully beside me. 
She turns 2 next month. 
And I see her face on that child on the camel every night.

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