Wednesday, November 30, 2011

life disturbing

yesterday i went to buy some fresh bean curds at the public market near our house.  it's already 7:00 am in the morning and as usual the market was already teeming with people.  vendors and buyers alike were all very alive.  haggling over prices and then of course there were the usual debates over the quality of the goods.  even i tried hard to haggle over the price of the bean curd. the girl vendor offered them at 3 pieces per 10 pesos.  i informed her i was able to get them at 7 pieces for 20 pesos the other day.  the girl displayed a disbelieving face. she smiled and told me the price has always been 3-for-10.  i argued i always buy here at the same marketplace.  finally, we agreed that if i buy 40 pesos worth then she'll give me an extra piece.  so i happily walked away with thirteen pieces of fresh bean curd squares.  these will see me through a week's meals.

i was walking past the market security outpost when i overheard this announcement by a lady officer.  she was speaking through a bullhorn and her voiced boomed loud enough to soar above the proverbial marketplace noise and the street traffic.

"ATTENTION!  EVERYONE!" she announced, "ANYONE WHO HAS LOST A CHILD? WE HAVE HERE A LITTLE BOY AT THE OUTPOST!  HE IS ABOUT 4 YEARS OLD, SHORT CROPPED HAIR, WEARING BLUE SHORTS,WHITE T-SHIRT AND BLUE SLIPPERS.  HE DOES NOT TALK MUCH.  IF THE KID'S PARENTS ARE HERE NOW KINDLY COME HERE AT THE OUTPOST.  HE'S BEEN HERE SINCE 4:00 AM.!"

wow! i said to myself. it's 7:30 now so the boy's been separated from his parents for more than three hours. it's amazing that they have not returned immediately to pick him up.  i went near the outpost to catch a glimpse of him.  his eyes were a bit puffy and reddened obviously from so much crying.  he's quiet now, busy munching a piece of bread and sipping soda that the lady guards gave him.  their description of him was perfect except that he looked very untidy.  his white tee was really not white because it bore dirt and grime, his blue shorts were very dirty as well, and it's assured he had not changed clothes for some days. it appeared he really needs some good scrubbing.

my mind got disturbed looking at him.  i lingered by the outpost for a while.  the lady officer's voice boomed over the bullhorn again announcing this lost child.  the lady officers waited.  the child waited.  i waited. our eyes were eagerly scanning all directions.  we were all in prayerful anticipation.

no one came to claim him.

the little boy pursed his lips.  he was about to cry again.  it's been thirty minutes since i stood by the outpost.

i turned around and walked towards the direction of my home.  i'll be home soon.

i don't know about the little boy.  i just hope someone will come get him.  i've read a lot of stories of children getting abandoned by impoverished, irresponsible parents.  life is really disturbing.

at a distance as i walked, i once more heard the lady's voice over the bullhorn.  well, the day's still early.  the boy's been at the outpost for just about four hours.  his parents might just be looking at the wrong place.  they will come soon.

i hope.

3 comments:

Bani Malhotra said...

=( hope the boy safely meets his parents soon...

sito saguid said...

bani, i actually inquired about this when i had the chance to visit the marketplace and the lady guards at the outpost vaguely remembered the boy. i don't know if this was just indifference on their part or if this kind of incident, children getting lost in the marketplace, is somewhat a commonplace event that they have become accustomed to this. i was assured though that somebody came to pick him up.

Bani Malhotra said...

that's great news that you followed it up and the boy reached his parents! =)