You are capable of more than what you think

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Along the Road Side ^ ^

How many times did you travel from Thimphu to Phuentsholing,  or from Trashigang to Samdrupjongkhar?  Many times? Few times?  Don’t remember? There may not be a single person reading this who might not have traveled through this route. While travelling through this places, how many of you have taken a few minutes and thought of how life  might  be along the road side? Of how it would have been to work and spent whole life working  along the road side, crushing stones, layering roads, clearing landslides and so on?  There are hundreds of Indian workers working along the roadsides and I also heard that there are few Bhutanese whose  livelihood is made solely by working along the roadsides.  This may not be of big interest to you all because it does not matter to you. But I thought they are also similar human like us and it matters.
Like many of you, I too have not realized for so long. Recently I have been travelling a lot and that was when I realized and contemplated about it.  I really do not know how exactly the lives of people function along this roadside. I do not know if this story accounts true for any person living along it.  I just imagined how if I were among one of them would have lived my life. I do not know if anyone of you reading this would  like it but it brought little tears into my eyes when I deeply imagined myself among them.
 Here goes my story: 
  Through the eyes of  Prena
I know I am born as human but I also know that I have no privileges like other human. For survival, I work along the roadsides. I do not know how I reached here but by the time I reached my maturity, I have known myself work with my parents along the roadside.
I am the eldest of four siblings. My two brothers are of age 13 and 14. While my sisters is 10, I am 16 and eldest of all I help my dad to make their life comfortable.  I have never been to school because being the eldest I had to help my dad.
My dad works very hard and the area where he works is very risky. He is old but we have no option. After my mom passed away, he was the sole bread earner. I try hard to help him in the best possible way. Now, that I have grown up I tell him to rest but he will not listen. He works though his health is deteriorating.
Now that I am destined to spent the rest of my life clearing the roads I have no big dreams. Of course, I had dreams like other kids when I was young. I always wanted to become a doctor seeing my mother suffer from a strange disease where her legs swelled and could never walk. My father said my mother would never walk. As I grew up, I ceased to dream because I knew my dreams would never materialize.
There is no vacation for us. We work in summer when the rain is heavy, in winter when the cold is intense. It is even more terrible when we have to work late in the evenings. The geographical terrains make our life hard. There are always landslides even in winter leave along summer time.That’s when we have to do overtime and have to even sacrifice our meals to clear of the roads for the travelers.

As I work here, I see lots of vehicles pass by, girls of my age smiling, waving and traveling with their family. I envy them and even though it is just a dream beyond reach for me, I pray for such a life in my next life.
Today, all I know is about the forest and the road. I always wonder what must be beyond these mountains. At times, I dream of crossing it to reach a place where my family and I do not have to work in cold and heat.
 I wonder and wait for time to change, for good things to happen. Will I ever see better times ahead or am I destined to live my entire life here? 
For now, all I can do is  'Wait' ............^^

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