It is a moment of reckoning, and retrospect, to be frank I mean it is nature—and why should I not admit this, I have occasionally wondered to myself how things might have turned out in the long run… I can only speculate this now because in the light of subsequent events it could be well argued that in making my decision… I was not entirely aware of the full implication of what I was doing. Indeed it might even be said that this small decision of mine constituted something of a key turning point. Decision set things on an inevitable course towards things that eventually happened.
But then, I suppose, when with the benefit of hindsight one begins to search one’s past for such turning points, one is apt to start seeing them everywhere… what would have transpired one may ask, had one responded slightly differently…? And perhaps occurring as it did around the same time as these events?
Probably Sameer would wallow in some more self pity that evolved from introspection. He heard a faint click, it was a latch being eased in, and cautiously Sameer opened the door, to his surprise he saw Galas, the cook, very furtively opening the door, and two girls probably around twelve years old, went in.
Sameer was furious, his whole being revolted, when the other residents of the hostel spoke about two girls sneaking out at early hours of the morning, Sameer had still faith in Gawas but now he had seen it for himself. Somehow paedophilia was something he had not associated Gawas with, nor did expect Gawas to pimp them.
Anger and self righteousness raged within him, and he quickly dialled the child help line, but the phone was dead, that when he remembered that he had not charged the mobile in the morning. Mustering all his courage, Sameer walked up to the dining area where Gawas and his helpers slept. He knocked,
“koun?” enquired the voice from within,
“…” Sameer did not reply, he just knocked again, this time, the query was a little more annoyed, “who is it” the query came in English
“Open the door Gawas else I shall call the cops”
The door opened and Caitan Gawas helper looked at him, “kite maray” the entire brazenness of it shocked Sameer, here he caught them in act and all that Caitan could ask was an arrogant,”what do you want.”
“I wanted water,”
“Take no from the filter”
“No I wanted hot water to drink.” Said Sameer pushing the door and walking towards the kitchen.
“Where is Gawas?”
Caitan didn’t answer, “Look,” said Sameer, “I have seen those girls coming in, so you had better tell me where Gawas is, and what is he doing with girls”
There was anger flashing in Caitan’s face, “What do you think of yourself? The girls you want to know about them? Come right into the kitchen see what Gawas up to”
When Sameer went into the kitchen, he was so stunned Gawas was packing the left over from dinner and the girls were nowhere to be seen.
“Gawas where are the girls”
“We are here sahib” the girls answered, “what did you think; we are poor girls, that makes you think we would sell ourselves?”
“We are workers at the road, we have no toilets to go to, just so that we don’t go in the open Gawas lets us use the cooks quarters. We take the leftover food for people in the settlement”
Never was Sameer more ashamed of him, but that single click changed his direction, he knew it was easy to point fingers but we the citizens need to take responsibility for setting the society right, it took two semi-literates Gawas and Caitan to get a new direction to sameer’s life.
“Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swiveled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark.”
― Bryce Courtenay