Tuesday, 5 January 2010

We and They

The retarded boy jerks and yells;
Behind the window,
Hurrying airport passengers

September 3, 2001

[While at Athens airport waiting for a flight to Madrid, a young boy (15-16?) with mental and physical disability was violently jerking and yelling next to us. Just behind him, facing us, was a glass panel where passengers could be seen coming and going. The contrast between what the boy was going through, and where his life and fate were taking him, and the passengers (us included) hurriedly moving in conscious, but feigned ignorance of non-normality (the yells were audible to all) was both striking and touching. I have kept the term "retarded" despite its offensive connotations nowadays in order to stress the perceived difference and the pathos involved. Life can be sometimes terrible.]


  1. I had a similar experience. Few years ago in Medugorye,Bosnia. One day at the center of the church an autistic 6 year-old child was screaming for an hour, afraid of the crowd which kept approaching him further (with pity) and what made him more agitated. His parents,two ignorant italians, thought he was "possessed" or something and the preast with his hands on the boy's head, praying !

  2. Sorry I keep erasing my posts (since we have that option in the blog :-)
    Because when a haiku confuses me with different images, I let it go. Or can we keep adjusting with a haiku until a desired result, meaning changing images too and not only words ? I think it wouldn't have been a haiku in the first place.
    Nice post "We and They". It's like a movie scene. It has sound and action!