Saturday, August 7, 2010

The contrasting faces of Balikpapan

Actually, these three pictures were unintentional.

I did not plan to take any picture, but kept my camera handy everywhere I went to. Just in case. And sure it enough, it was handy enough to take pictures of the two kids, in two contrasting scenes.
I like this picture of this kid on the way home from religious study. It was candid, though at that instance, he was looking into my camera. I was, at that time, inside a car, and cars are typically heavily tinted in Indonesia, so I believe he could only see what I was doing at a certain distance.

But it did not distract the spontaneity of the the pose.

And I love the green grass of the road shoulder.

That was taken at about 1700 hours. I later on went for dinner at a mall, and on the way back (say 2100 hours) I saw this sad scene, while climbing the road crossing to get to our car.

This child was asleep on the steps, with her hands still holding to the cup containing some money. She may be soliciting for alms for her living.
In Indonesia, I try not to be judgmental. I can't pretend that I really know the social fabrics there, even though I have traveled the length and breadth of Indonesia, and even have a kampung there. But the human in me was touched with the scene that I took picture of her from the top - directly above them (vertically above, if you must), and hence the view point is a bit awkward.

It was also too dark for me to catch her in the natural light (read:without the flash).

Then came her sister, rudely awakening her from her slumber. You can see that she can barely opened her eyes. Jangan dipukulin anak itu, we had to remind her sister.
Just in case, before we start to be judgmental on them, the elder one is not begging. She is selling tidbits in her basket. Barely into her early teen, she is already earning her living for the family.

That's something that I had not had to do in my lifetime.

It is always sad to see (and hear) these kinds of scene, anywhere in the world. I do wish that the government would take better care of the citizens and not use their position to enrich themselves and their cronies. The people on the street - many of them, did not have enough to even go on living.

Only last night in the news, an old lady was caught shoplifting, citing that she needed the money to buy food for herself. Another had tried to kill herself as she has no means to continue on living.

It's sad, but should I just keep on telling myself that there is nothing I could do about it?

No comments:

Post a Comment