Wednesday, April 20, 2005

When words are not enough...

I sat with Sanjay with a cup of tea and listened. I listened as the story unfolded. I listened to the pain of a mother and of a wife whose family had been ripped apart by racial hatred. Sanjay is a Christian married to a Hindu, as she talks to me I hear last nights story.

Last night her 16-year-old was involved in a fight. A standard one on one escalated to a gang of 20 baseball wielding youths intent on revenge. As her 16-year-old was knocked to the ground her 18-year-old son jumped into help. A single punch with the aid of good old-fashioned knuckle-duster took out some of his teeth. Sanjay’s husband joined the fray, which was only dispersed on the arrival of the police.

I sat with a stunned Sanjay – her husband in custody, her 18-year-old nowhere to be seen having run away; her sixteen-year-old complaining of nausea and giddiness; her 9-year-old too scared to go out of the house.

I sat with Sanjay with a cup of tea and listened.

2 comments:

Chris said...

You're a brave man Gordon - I have to say I'd be absolutely terrified working in Poplar.

Gordon said...

The trouble with stories chris is that you only get a snippet of a place. What is the opposite of rose tinted glasses? It is the same as using anecdotes in lectures!!? Always use a pinch of salt.

Poplar is probably more intense than it is violent. So I'm not sure I am brave - I seem to have got used to the intensity!