Manoj [Part 2 - English]

Texte Indien 1 | Varkala, Kerala, Mid of February 2011

But the worst thing was, when I get down in Delhi it was in December. And it was very cold. I think it was almost five degrees or seven degrees. And I had no clothes. I had only one T-Shirt and I was really freezing. In my life the first time I was at a place that was that cold. In my state we don´t have it that cold. Minimum is seventeen sometimes or fifteen. Here it was five degrees. I didn´t know what to do and where to go. And this guy he came to me and introduced a guy there. ‘OK you have to go and work with him’ and I said ‘OK’. Then he just left me there and he just gone.
I don´t know anyway what to do now and he startet to speak with me in Hindi, which I was understanding a little bit but I couldn´t speak. So it was difficult to communicate with him.
So he told me ‘I cannot give you a job, because I need someone who can speak Hindi’.
Then he said ‘OK, you have to go from this place, I have no work for you’. Then I was really in the middle of nowhere. No money to come back home, no friends, nobody, no language. And this man also left. He was a very drunken man, very drunken like celebrating sex and drinking alcohol. In the end I found out that, because he left me there and he just gone. So I had no idea. He gave me a phone number. I don´t know how I have to dial the phone, because I never used a phone before. So I have never seen a phone. In my village we had no phone, not anyone. So I don´t know how to dial and what to do with the phone and how to talk. I had no idea what to do.
Then finally there were some friends I knew they were living in Delhi. And somehow I found out one of these guys and I asked him for help. And he gave me little money. But I asked ‘I need a job and I need a place to stay.’ But he could not really help me, because where they were living, they were living in a small house. In a small room living twelve guys. Like the room is for three people, or four people can stay in this room. Eleven or twelve guys is too much. Even without me, so they live there for night and day. So the night people were there only at night, seven at night and five at day. So like this they live. And if they have holiday or something altogether, then it was difficult to sleep there. Is no way. So then I told him, I finally decided not to sleep with them, because they really don´t want me to sleep with them. And because I don´t really know them. I have seen them sometimes in my village. Not friends, and I really don´t know them. Another one guy said to me: “Maybe you can take one room or something.”
But I had no job. I needed really money for my home now, because I needed to send money. Because we really needed to rebuild our home. So then, what can we do?
There is a place in New Delhi where you can sleep – railway station.
The front side of the railway station is always busy, the backside is always not so busy. There is a place where you can sleep. And when I went there to sleep it´s impossible, because it´s full of slum-people.
And they are really … I mean … I must say … I can not blame them as they were living … that´s the way of living their live, how they grow up free in a very free area. They are living all together and really abusing each other, like sexually … and horrible … and man they don´t really carry anything, like ‘he´s my friend’ or whatever. They just want to do whatever they really like to do, nothing hinds them.
And at the beginning also they were trying to do so many things with me. But I was so nervous and so scared. I don´t not know what to do. But they have a leader, like a mafia or something like this. And this mafia he decided where this people always have to go to steel during the night time. They don´t sleep really in the night. So they always go to steel things. So this man decided: OK, this group has to go to this area, this group has to go to this area, like this. This guy was really all kind of addicted. But he was a good human being, because all human beings are good. Our experiences on a strong way are mind make. But he had a good heart. I told him my story, and he and the people knew, that there was a cyclon in Orissa, because it was all over in the news, many people died. So, then OK, then he was helping me from holding off the other people.
But still I had no job and so I really had no money to live. What to do? So, but I needed food to survive. Otherwise I cannot survive. So somehow, what to do? What they do, the slums?
I mean, normally in North India, they really don´t feed human beings. The restaurant people may have food, maybe they might not give you. But they feed cows.
Because if you go to Delhi or somewhere in North India you can see many street cows. They are very strong. They are always open. And people always feel like this is a holy cow and it is always good to feed them. So if you will ask them ‘Give us food’ may be they will shout to us ‘OK – go away from my house’. Sometimes some people give or not.
Yes I must say, sometimes whenever I asked, some of my best friends they gave me food, but not always. Sometimes they said ‘Finished, no food, go away from here.’ But we know that always they gave food for the cow during the night time.
So we all, me and some of my friends from the slum, we go to collect food from these waste bins, which is for cows especially.
So there will be like some waste food from people or they throw it away and some old chapati and stuff like.
That´s how I lived for two months. And within two months the good thing was, that I learned Hindi from this people. Because normally they don´t really sleep during the night. And I had to learn and I had to go on. I had to make some money at least anyhow.
For stay here I had to live whole of my live like this. I can not make any money so but that´s why I decided not to sleep also.
So somehow I was wake with cold water or somehow. I did so many things to stay wake during the night time, because this is the only time when I can learn Hindi, because this people they get together only night time and they talk what to do and where to go. And what to do to day and during the daytime? What they do, they sleep, cause they don´t sleep during the night time. So I really can´t talk to other people. And also I can not go to outside to talk to people because I had two clothes and they were really dirty and things.
The people are not so friendly with the slum-people. Because of course I must say, they always stealing because they have to live too.
So people don´t like, but people really don´t understand why they are stealing, it´s not their business. Who cares about them. As human being they always look for themselves, nobody look the others.
When we look others, we look when people are doing wrong. When they are doing right things we are always jealous of others.
The health we need never comes from us. May be some few people in the world, may be … not normally. Most of the people really hate slum-people, because they think, they are stealers or thieves or like this. Cause they do this things, because why, we have to think. Nobody think that. Anyway. Somehow that´s the reason that I cannot talk to normal people.
Because I was opposite. I was not like a slum, but something like this. I was no mind of stealing things, because not. But my dress, my hair, to dress like that. And I was very black at that time too. Because I was young and coming from a hot country …. No food and I’am going not sleeping and I was very black. Yes, I was looking a little bit like strange at that time, I can imagine. Whatever.
But in this two months I was really understanding. I was really concentrating what they are talking nigh-time all, everything, single words, I was always keeping, I was always really taking seriously this learning things. And finally, after two months I was starting to speak and understanding quite well.
Then I thought ‘OK this is the time to go for a work, for a job’. Then I came to my, not my friends, this people from Orissa. And they were really shocked to see me again like this. Cause they told me ‘Why don´t you not come to us? We did not mean you to stay like this, there. But I said ‘Oh, it´s fine’. And somehow I learned Hindi. And because if I´ve stayed with them, I would not have learned Hindi because they speak Oriya all the time. So I could not get any job in my whole live. That´s how it is meant to be anywhere.
So I’am taking me a new dress from them and finally I found a job in a restaurant, like to cleaning plates. It was a small, local restaurant, and I tell you my boss was not so friendly, he was really shouting and hitting me always. So my work is like: I had a small dark house with a small candle to clean plates. From 7.30 o´clock I start until 11 o´clock at night. So I had only one hour of what to do like for lunch time, but the other time I have always to clean. They put this much of plates.
And I think, after almost two and a half month I started to loose my nails.
So see my nails not like same level or they are different. See, small as big there´s all coming new nails. Because all falling out, because of allergie of soap chemical. Cause they are using really strong chemical.
So then I could not really work anymore, because then it´s really burning. It´s like really I could not feel anymore. It´s like it´s always numb, because I could not feel anymore. But this was not a big thing, because I still continued. I still worked with that. But then, what´s happen? Once a time I had really a problem with my fingers like really I couldn´t feel them.
So then I had to go to hospital. And the doctor told me ‘If you continue with this, I will might to have to take your fingers or do something’. And he told me ‘I´ll give you some medicine. And stop this work. And it could be better for you’. And I said ‘OK, what to do?’ Then I had to stop this work. And because I have stopped in the middle of month – I worked, I think one and a half month or two and a half month, I do not remember – but they just paid me for one month. Because they say ‘Oh, when you are leaving middle of the month somehow, we will not give you money’. But I could not do anything. But then I had one month of salary and at that time I was getting 450 Rupees. And, but it was good, that I always was getting my food there. So some of my money I send my home and some I bought my clothes, to get to try some other job. But for few months I could not work.
But, yeah, but same problem I had. Because I do not want to disturb this people, then I was again going to the slum. But at that time actually I were good friendship with them and they know me and I had no big trouble anymore. I could speak their language and I just need a place to relax sometimes, that´s all. And I had some money. I could eat some little food. Like some I was buying two chapatis every day, or three chapatis. It was enough for me, and some cold water. When I really feel hungry like I felt like I need some food, I was drinking cold water, it was fine. Anyhow I had some money.
Then I searched for some other job and I got a job in a like a small kind of glass-house. Like they were selling small glass in this house and give me a job to clean them. And other time it was already. After five months it was summer, like may, april or something. When I got the new job, it was april, yes, end of april. So it was just starting of the summer. So that means forty five degrees or something like this. So this cleaning, you wear the clothes or not in that house, it´s really horrible, like you have to really skills.
So what to do? I worked there two or three months, but it was too much for me. I was really getting out of health. Because no food, because I got not enough money, because I was getting in this place seven or seven five hundred rupees, but no food from this place. So if I had to eat three times in a restaurant, I have to give nine hundred rupees. So if I’am getting only five hundred rupees, so I have to eat from this money and I have to send also to my home.
So what to do? I was like sending three hundred rupees to my home, two hundred rupees for my food. So it’s most impossible to eat. So what I can eat? I can really once in a day. So I was really eating lunch or breakfast or dinner. The rest I did something, was collecting food from dust bin, from restaurants or asking people or something like this. Then I worked there two months, I think.
End of june I left this job, because it was too much for me.