This is the story of many who toil under the scorching sun...
My little-bit life - the story of a migrant Indian worker
Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai
15 April 2010,
Myself Radhakrishnan Nambiar, from village Pailam, in India. Me, construction worker in Middle East, making very big, tall buildings, in Bahrain, Doha and Riyadh. Some building too much big, 30 floors.
Me getting 600 dirhams per month salary every month, plus six ‘parattas’, every day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also love very much, one girl, Philipa. Philipa, my heart, my soul.
There was famine in my village. No rain-water for my field. I grow rice. But, no rain-water, no rice. So, agent come from big city, and tell, “Go to Riyadh. Become rich. Buy Mercedes. Come back to village”.
Life in Middle East
So, I pay agent, 10,000 dollars. I borrow money. In Riyadh, I learn fast, become wireman. Make big buildings. Go up crane 20 to 30 floors. Very dangerous. But I work hard, to pay loan. In the nights, sometimes I feel too much alone.
Then I run away. Everywhere, Doha, Bahrain, same story. 14 hours work. Salary 600 dirhams. 6 ‘parattas’ every day. And save only 200 dirhams every month, to pay back loan.
My room, too much people - 12 people. We have bunker beds, like army. No bedsheets. No towels. In my room, we have big poster of Aamir Khan and Sridevi. I see them on wall and feel nice. Lavatory - big problem. Every morning big line. I wait 15 minutes. Sometime 1 hour. But, I wait quietly. I have big loan in my life.
Sometimes I dream, India big country, very rich country, have many jobs, too much money. And, lots of rain for my rice field. Then, all Indians stay in India. No need to earn dollar, in other countries. This I dream, many times.
I go up crane every day. I, frightened too much. I, frightened also, for electric current. I wireman.
I miss my village, my mango tree. And, I miss my old mother and father, my small brother, sister. I need money for marriage of my sister. But, I cannot go back. I have big loan in my life.
On Friday, company people take all workers, in bus to big mall. I, very impressed. Many items, many nice clothes, very beautiful people. People in mall always very happy, laughing, smiling, buying, eating fast-food, playing games. But, I only see everything. Me, little money. No buy anything. I have big loan in my life.
Then, I see Philipa. She has white skin, golden eyes. She smile for me. She work in Starbucks coffee. She give me little-bit orange juice. Philipa very good, bootiful. I like.
After I meet Philipa, I no sleep. Every night is big mountain, for me, without Philipa. Every Friday, I see Philipa in Starbucks. Every Friday, she give me little-bit smile.
Then one day we go for movie. Philipa touch me little bit, by mistake. I also touch her. She smile. She smell very good. Like big garden of rose flowers.
We, solid happy! Then, I fight too much hard, not to fall in love with Philipa. I do my best to avoid falling in love with Philipa. But, I make mistake; I fall in love, with Philipa. It just happened, you know. Am, so very sorry.
Now, every night, my heart full of Philipa. Every night, me cut my heart and throw out. But, every morning, my heart is full of Philipa again.
Every Friday, I see Philipa in Starbucks. Every Friday, she give me little-bit smile.
Recession and Philipa goes
Then Philipa lose job. Recession, you know. Few customers. Philipa go home to Manila. She cry too much, at airport. I have ten fingers. So I hold her 10 tears. But Philipa has too many tears in her. Some tears fall on the ground, at airport. I feel
You see, I man, I no cry. But, when Philipa go inside, and her aeroplane become small twinkling star in the black skies, I cry, alone in toilet. Little-bit.
Now, every day, I die little-bit. I don’t go to mall anymore.
The only thing, I want, besides wanting Philipa back, is to be left alone. I stay at labour-camp, every Friday.
Manila and village
Maybe, I run away from here. Go to Manila, and take Phillipa to my village. My family will laugh: “You no bring dollar? No Mercedes? Only Philipa?”
Then, I will stand like the actor Amitabh Bachchan, who defied the whole world, in the movie called the ‘Deewar’. With my hands on my hips, I tell my family, “So what? Philipa will give me baby. I will make small shop in village, selling cigarettes, matches and old clothes”.
Then, Philipa and I, just live. But, I work 3 more years. I have big loan in my life.
My life not very good. Little-bit hard also. But I work. For, to pay back loan. And then, meet Philipa.
This, my little-bit, life.
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