minute 37

Another man just died. 

I see a man; a young and angry man.  He seems to be tall and has a brawny body. He wears a top and boxing gloves. Where is this man coming from? What is his story? What is it that he wants to defeat? What is it that makes him furious? You see him boxing and fighting. But what is there to be beaten? I cannot see it, but he can. What I see as blurry and smudged, is what he sees clearly and distinct. I am the fortunate one. He is one of the unfortunates.  Every morning he wakes up early and goes to his work in the platinum mine. The only work he can have that allows him to survive with the wages. It is not much, but enough to survive another day and support his family. He is aware of the fact that everyday could be his last, the last day with his family, the last day of his life. There are very bad working conditions in the mines. Sometimes there is not enough oxygen feed or the air is too polluted to breathe properly, sometimes the temperature is unbearable or sometimes there is no way out because the mine collapsed. Almost every week, one man dies in the mines because of these conditions or of the aftermath of these conditions. The mine workers have to take the corpse all the way out of the mine and inform their boss that another man just died. It does not bother anyone that much anymore, because it has become a part of their everyday life. But it does bother him, he cannot accept that it has become normal to lose a life of a person he used to know; knowing that under different circumstances he would be able to live a couple of more years. What spites him as well, is the fact that almost none of the platinum they are extracting goes to the poor inhabitants of his country, who are desperately in need of financial aid. “Why do I have to undergo this cruelty? Why am I being punished?”

Voice of Injustice:
“He does not know that the power he is fighting against is much more powerful than he is and he will ever be. It is quite naïve of him to think that he is the only one living this life and that it is only his bad fortune. This power is spread all over the world and determines many more lives than he thinks. He just has to look over his shoulders and he will see many more people sharing the same destiny.         
Does he not hear the bombs exploding in Iraq? Does he not see the cloud of smoke arising? Does he not hear the machine guns shooting? Does he not hear the mother crying: “If this is a war for any kind of resources- take them all! But don’t take my child!”? Has he not heard the kids of India? Has he not heard their stomachs growling? Did nobody tell him about the starving people in East Africa? Did he not hear them craving for water? Did he not see the mother of three children left with no children? Did he not hear the animals howl on their search for pasture? Has he failed to see the teardrops of the little children working in China? Did he not hear of Trayvon Martin from Sanford? Did he not see him dying for no reason? Has he not seen the burning marks of the Guantanamo inmates? Did he not hear the lashes of the whip? Has he not smelled the fragrance of the corpses in Syria? Have you not heard of injustice?”

Yasmin Sarwar