The porter

By | August 15, 2014

He was a porter on the trains. For twenty years, his job was to carry people’s luggage to the trains, make sure it stays on the train and get it back to them. It was like having your own butler on the move. It was a difficult job, sure, but it was a job. It paid a wage and kept his family going. Then came the liberationists. Those who looked at him with pity. Those who thought that his job was void of any human dignity, that dignity that was a basic human right. “How could we degrade another fellow human to behave as a slave?” they said. Those voices got louder by the day, then the newspapers caught up and made them even louder. It got loud to a point where the government intervened and made it illegal for anyone to pay another man to carry his luggage.

The headlines were splashed on front pages, “Freedom for the oppressed, dignity for all”, “No more porters”,”Porters can be human again” and such. The rail company called all porters the next morning and told them it had no other jobs for them, so they had to let all of them go. “But how do we feed our families”, they asked. There was no answer.

When he went home that day, his little daughter asked him what freedom meant. “It’s all we have now” was his reply.

Next morning, hidden somewhere on the last page of a newspaper were 4 lines about a family found dead in their house. Father, mother and 3 kids. No note was found, the police had said, only the front page of yesterday’s newspaper.

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