The Shoeshine Boy and his Message to Humanity

I saw his image on twitter and was touched by the image. Humanity has driven itself to a sorry state indeed when it is unable to take care of its children and drives them to the street to fend for themselves. The boy has lined up his shoe polishes just like a child might line up his toys at home; he has not slept well last night it seems inside whatever he calls his home; soon a well dressed man in a tie shall come and wake him up for a shoe polish; he shall throw down some coins for the boy to grab, and away the boy shall run perhaps, dragging his hurriedly stuffed bag, to that man who sells those lovely sandwiches down the road, his daily bread that he shall eat sitting on the pavement leaning against the pillar of a shop with the utmost of delight and happiness. Those sandwiches are good, perhaps the kind sandwich vendor stuffs in extra slices of hard boiled eggs for the child in the one sided open sandwiches called laffa in the city where the boy lives.  Perhaps his mother and father have been bombed into heaven. Which parent would allow a child of less than five to go make a living on the street? A kind older boy seems to have taught him how to do it. Yet the mother in heaven must note with satisfaction that the boy has generous layers of skin on his bones, but she must be worried to life for the boy, from the dangers he faces on the street, all by himself at this young age, not even five years old yet. Does he still cry out for mama when he falls and get hurt, or does he just sob silently into his sleeves because he knows she does not listen any more?

Yet the Lord is merciful, the boy is most unlike those emaciated images of infants one sees from Yemen, because their homes have been bombed or kids that were snatched from mothers to put in cages before selling to organ traffickers who shall  pretend to be sponsors and  who shall give a nice bribe, some from those kids who go missing without a trace. As regards Yemen, Wolf Blitzer of CNN told Senator Rand Paul they bring Revenue for America. Those from the arms lobby of America and UK and the lawmakers they fund have big mansions likely.

Note: Above is only an image of the video, if you wish to reach it, click the link below the image

I am reminded of a very similar boy from my own life some twenty years ago. It was at the bus station at Jaipur where I had bought a ticket for Delhi. I was waiting on a chair to board the bus when he came up to me and asked if i needed my shoes to be polished. He was a sweet and well-behaved boy.  I chatted a bit with him while he worked on the shoes and gave him twice of what he asked for after the polish.  I was beginning to inquire more about him when a cop came and pulled him away to push him out of the bus station. Soon after I boarded the bus but that incident still haunts me. I should have cancelled the ticket, inquired more from the boy. Did he have a parent or parents in some shanty, perhaps a father or mother who head off to collect garbage in the city daily. I could have talked to them and offered to get the boy educated.  He was young enough to admit to a nearby school and if it was a poor government school I could supplement to educate him at home. He could have done some chores around the home and garden and helped me too, or was he run away, I could help take him back to his parents, talk to them, so many things could have been done, but I did not and just caught the bus for Delhi. I regret the decision now. I was less wise and less compassionate some twenty years ago. I would do differently now. I have helped others since whenever the opportunity arose.

I captured the picture of the shoeshine boy in a tweet and reposted it with my comments on twitter.

A Touching story of another little boy here in an older post,


Ashok said…
There is typo in my tweet. Take should read Take care, but i left the tweet in because others had retweeted it. Hopefully meaning will be clear as it is.
Jerel Shaw said…
Yes, indeed touching, and spirit enhancing. You should be grateful that humanity still abides in your heart and soul. It does seems to becoming a relic from the past.
Ashok said…
Thank you Jerel. Appreciate your sentiments. Best wishes to you.

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