Thursday, July 19, 2007

Reflections during flood @ Queens

It rained so heavily this morning. The train did not run, the buses were very late... arghh... frustrated, wet people were all over the place... the umbrella didn't keep me dry. With drenched clothes and braving the mid-calf flood, I walked home and rested in bed with a good book and cough medicine. Anyway, while resting, my mind wondered off to my junior college days...


There was this quiet male Chinese cleaner who swept the grounds and cleaned the college. He was thin and frail looking. A mean person would say he was retarded due to this facial structure. I noticed that he always looked at students studying. Every day before he went home, he would stand by the study tables and looked at the open books. He seemed so sad; then he would walk away with his signature gait. 

I don't know why but I can't erase that image even after all these years. What was his story? Perhaps, he had always wanted to go to school but never had the chance due to poverty or war or ... Perhaps, he longed to learn how to read. Gosh, I wish I had talked to him then. I wished I knew what was on his mind when he looked at our books. I wish I had helped him... :(


2 comments:

nadahati said...

You might still be able to do that. Perhaps write in to the local media and see if they'd want to do a story, see if something is there. Of course, they'd have to check with the man to see if he's willing to have his story written up.

That said, if there is something there, I think it'd be nicer if you wrote the story. I like your writing style.

There seems to be more of these "Ordinary People" type story around here.

And you know how there is teachers' day and children's day ... there has to be a day for the other workers in schools too. I remember when I was in school and our caretakers and cleaners were like family. They saw us for more than 8 hours a day 5 days a week. That has to say something about their contributions.

About Zeeshan! said...

Oh boy, that day was so horrible. Imagine how a downpour shut down the whole city! One of my colleagues remarked how she thought she was in a developing country for a bit :)
It took me three hours to get to the office! In hindsight, I wonder why I event went - my boss was on leave and I left that day at 5 anyway. haha...
here's hoping we dont experience this again!