Wednesday, March 22, 2006

LIFE IS SIMPLE (to some people)

One of the basic nature calls has been buried in the shadowy darkness of reality for so long under the name of values. In the world of etymology, the word “Toilet” is one of the most vivid examples.. The dictionary of etymology has recorded so many words to express toilet, such as John, Lavatory, Privy, Loo, Throne, Privy, Can, Rest Room and many, many others. This concept has undergone so many semantic changes. Once the unwritten social consensus has recorded deterioration or a change in the semantic value of a word, the word will be classified as taboo and a new word will emerge.
In the grotesque houses in Pondok Indah, the word “toilet” refers to rooms which occupy areas as large as my house and are equipped with luxury and comfort such as carpet, paintings, air condition etc. On the opposite side, for the street children, the word toilet refers to any gutter available on the street such as the gutter that runs underneath the pedestrian path.
Last Sunday drive has added another picture of reality, far beyond those images which have been crushed into our mind through the television or newspaper. As the traffic turns green, the crowd of cars stopped in front of the traffic. A little boy of six, half naked from middle to bottom, ran across the street and jumped onto the pavement. He installed himself comfortably above a gap between the pavement blocks. His back is facing the solemn Sunday traffic of Jakarta, ignoring or being ignorance of the fact that almost every person in the cars were watching his gestures. He rested his fingers on the wall and used the gap as his private toilet to respond to the nature call. I assume most of the passengers would move on to the next question: how is he going to clean his behind. ?
As soon as he had finished it, he moved to the big pot with plants in it. He sat on the curb of the pot covered by the left over rain drops and shook his Behind around to clean it up. To make sure that he was clean enough, he touched his behind with his fingers. As many other ordinary kids would do, he jumped into the middle of the street and ran happily among the cars. Again like many other ordinary kids of his age would do, he put his fingers into his mouth when he got tensed or depressed.
Life is complicated to some whereas it is simple and natural for the street children. It is as simple and as natural as the first snow in winter or the morning dew in spring or the color of leaves in autumn.

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