Moving Away

Some time ago we watched a news broadcast on television about a cargo ship carrying nearly 1000 Syrian migrants from Turkey. The ship had been abandoned by the people-smugglers near the Italian coast. All those people in the ship had fled from the destruction of their nation and homes in search of safety and a better life. What must have been the state of their minds ?This migration of people has been going on for ages.

It is said the people of my community migrated from the northern parts of our country sometime in the 3rd or 4th century and settled on the western coasts of South India. They had been invited by a king of one of the ruling dynasties. In those long ago days going back would have been very difficult.

A few years ago I read Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh. The story is set during the British rule and it tells us about people who were forced to go to other countries as plantation workers. This reminds me of all those people, who through the ages had been made slaves and carried off from their places of birth. That was forced migration.

In our country, farmers depend heavily on the rains and many a time, lack of rain or excessive rain destroys all that they have and they are forced to migrate. Usually they go to big cities in search of work and hope for a better life. But whether their dreams are realized is big question. The other day, my mother and her neighbour were standing near their gate. A young couple and their three children approached them. They did not look as if they belonged to our place. My mother spoke to them. They had come from another part of our state on the assurance of getting work here, but this was in vain. They had not eaten much that day, my mother and her neighbor gave them something to eat and a little money. They went their way. What happened to them, did they find work or were they forced to go back? Conditions in their place must have been bad for them to have come so far away. In spite of their poverty why was it necessary for them to have three children? A life of so much uncertainty and unanswered questions. Many people from the northern part of our country are working in and around our place as construction labourers . We often see them in labour markets where their services are bought for the day. They are ‘transported’ in trucks to their places of work. Their existence is mere survival from day to day. It is a difficult life to imagine. But life goes on. I have seen some of these workers going back home, talking and laughing. Necessities of life are different for different people. They must have learnt to take life as it comes.

The other day I re-read Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. Those books were as interesting as they had been when I first read them 🙂 It is shown that in those days of the far future, human beings have migrated to different parts of the Galaxy. And Earth is nowhere mentioned !!

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By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. The Covid has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.