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This duo, spotted at the Muharraq Municipal Park this evening, were taking pictures of each other, possibly to send back to loved ones in their home country. The men, who looked like workers from Bangladesh, were happily posing, making sure the right background of the Manama skyline and the high tide are captured. Interesting to note was the writing on one man’s t-shirt, which read: “To Say ‘I Love You’, one must be able to say the ‘I’.” The scenario made the state of mind of expatriates who stay away from their families abundantly clear – how they fight loneliness and take solace in one another’s company to pass their time!
I came across a gut-wrenching scene as we drove out to run some errands this afternoon. A cyclist had just been knocked over by a car and lay motionless on the side of the busy road while another man, possibly his companion on another bicycle, wailed hysterically.
Also at the scene was a police officer and a woman in white uniform, who appeared to be a nurse, as were some onlookers who had stopped.
My first reaction was to call 999 which I did but they said they were already aware of the incident. Help was on its way so we left the scene.
What else could we do? Just being part of the already-swelling crowd would only hinder any rescue efforts.
As we drove off with a lump in our throats, we wondered who the man was, his nationality and his work. Who was the man with him? His brother, friend, companion, mate, co-worker?
How seriously was the man hurt? Would he recover? Was he already dead? How much did he earn? How many members of his family does he provide for? Was he the sole breadwinner?
All these thoughts came into our minds as we silently drove away.
Sadly, riding a bicycle or any other two-wheeler for that matter, is not really the done thing in this part of the world. Fast , flashy cars, mostly arrogant and reckless drivers with monstrous attitudes make sure these roads are not meant for those on two wheels.
I also especially blame the cyclists who have scant regard for rules, do not follow safety instructions and are reckless. They are not aware what could happen to them if they were not careful.
The traffic police has strict guidelines in place for motorised two-wheelers but none for cyclists. And since most are low-paid workers – store delivery men, car cleaners, domestic hep or even labourers, it becomes almost impossible to educate them.
The cost of such mishaps is phenomenal – in terms of the affect on their families who often depend on their earnings.
As we drove back, there were a few policemen at the scene and so was the shattered bicycle but no sign of the two men. I did enquire later in the evening from a journalist friend whether she knew anything. She didn’t.
Was that a sign the man was all right, after all? Because if that wasn’t so, surely the police would have Tweeted about it! Hope that is the case.
Captured on “film” this very familiar sight on the weekend. Generally, residents of a workers accommodation appoint one man for the weekly shopping. It could be vegetables, flour, rice, or other essentials. But this gentleman seen crossing the road only had a sack of rice on his head. Perhaps that was what the group needed for the time being. Or, perhaps, that was what they could manage!
Whatever it was, it sure represented a very poignant moment. This more so because at that time we were on our way to the local supermarket to get hold of our own weekly shopping – and end up with a lot of things we would not even need!
It was May Day today. Time for all workers to relax, rest and contemplate. These are some pictures to show what they were doing today. There are also a few pictures showing what can pass off as their “living accommodation” – ramshackle structures they call home.
It’s for the readers to make what they can of these images!
All I can say, it was just another day!