Sweeping the Streets

When the roads are quiet and the cars are few, it has to be very early morning in Dubai. Its also the only time street sweepers can do their job unhindered…
Well to a certain extent – the exception being when some random lady shows up and asks, firstly if you speak English and secondly if you’d mind having a chat with her. She comes armed with a camera over her shoulder, cupcakes in one hand and a notebook in the other and I guess she could look intimidating, although she tries very hard not to.
IMG_8705I got a “leetle English” and the customary head wobble from Ram of Rajasthan – a northern Indian state bordering Pakistan. I took that as an “okay, what do you want to say?”
An instant icebreaker for just about every Indian I’ve ever encountered is the game of cricket. And as South Africa had lost to India by 35 runs in a one day international, just two days before, Ram had plenty to motion and laugh about, his leetle English absolutely adequate alongside foot movements and imaginary bat-hitting-ball gestures. His movements were fluid and fast and clearly this guy had missed his true vocation in life.
As have so many others due to little or no education.
IMG_8708Ram Chander is 31 years old with a wife and two little children of five and three back home. He’s been in Dubai for two years and earns $200 a month. I’m not sure if he understood what I meant when I asked him what he wanted to do next in his life, but he did manage to say that he would do whatever he could to earn any money but as he didn’t have school, maybe he would always have to sweep the streets.
This said with a resigned shrug of his shoulders and a smile on his face.
IMG_8706Oh, how very much we, even those with only the basics in reading and writing have to be grateful for.
How very much.

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