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Adi & Praja 107

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 107: The Bitch

His grandparents were extremely shocked, and the woman was even crying. “Never go there and give them candies.” It was silent. Than ‘grandfather’ said: “At least certainly not in the evening, not in the dark.” That Shano accepted.


(The bitch)

One of his friends, who was sitting around most of the time, always in for a talk or some fun, and who every day spent a few hours collecting garbage for a man who then paid him – who was a good man, the boy said. The boy wasn’t very intelligent, had left his school the earliest possible, and was now living on the street. But he was a honest boy. He asked Shano how much he earned at the computer shop. Shano told him. First the boy laughed, but then was shocked because he noticed his own pride, and said: “Oh, I am earning four times as much as you.” Shano took that for granted, but wondered how a boy who worked only a few hours a day and lived on the street because he couldn’t afford to live in a house (and his parents lived in a village two days ride away) and was not intelligent and knew nothing was earning four times as much as he. He talked about it with several friends, and they convinced Shano that he was cheated by his boss. Shano could not imagine that the director would cheat him – he was a very rich man, and was happy with Shano’s assistance, and his customer base had almost doubled. This was another puzzle for Shano’s mind. He would ask the director. And so he did. But the director said: “Shut up, don’t talk like that. Who has told you these things?” He looked very irritated. Nevertheless Shano brought up the same point the next day. But the director answered: “You were a good boy. I say, you were, but now it’s all over,” and he walked away, and Shano had only the puppets with their standard answers to talk to.

Nothing happened. Shano’s work went on as usual. He met his friends, went home before dark, and read piles of books on his room. His grandparents were always friendly and made delicious dishes for him and for themselves, and the three enjoyed eating together. He told them about the talk with the director. They looked at him, without the usual smile – they looked really worried. He didn’t know why, he had only honestly told what had happened, as he always did.

A few days before the end of the month a 24 year old woman entered the shop. She hardly looked at Shano, but wanted to meet the director. She talked with him. She had done information technology, had already some practical experience with various types of software, and had learned to handle hardware problems as well (as far as you can expect that of a 24 year old, of course), she said. The director believed her, he didn’t even test her. She was very pretty. The director could not stop looking at her. “I want to work here, how much do you pay?” Shano heard the whole discussion through the screen that separated the director’s room from the shop. “How much do you expect?” the director said, “remember you are only an inexperienced beginner.” She looked to the sky, then smiled to the Director, and mentioned an amount that was twelve times as much as what Shano got. “Now he will be angry, he will never accept such brutality,” Shano thought. But to Shano’s amazement he heard the Director say: “Okay. And I will also take care for your holiday and health insurance. “You can begin after the weekend, that means I will pay you for two days of this months, and after two days the agreed amount.” She smiled again and got up. While leaving she murmured ‘bye’ to Shano, and walked out of the door. “She is a bitch” said one of the puppets. But the director didn’t hear that. “Poor Shano,” said another one. But Shano thought that she might be a nice lady if he learned to know her better, and he could learn from her also.

The next day the director called Shano. He said: “As I told you, ‘it’s all over now.’ Tomorrow is your last day here. I wish you success in your life. You think you are smart, but that is only in your own mind. From Monday on you are not to appear here anymore”. Shano could not believe what he heard: Was he fired? He had always been kind and helpful. At least he would have the money of the last month, and he would find another job. But his last day came, and at the end of the day the director said: “Bye, thank you Shano. I wish you all success.” “Will you pay me now or next Wednesday, at the end of the month?” Shano asked. “Now go boy, I never want to see you again.” And Shano said nothing, but ‘Bye.’

He came home crying. There were no laws in that country to protect him, and he had never signed any contract. He didn’t even know that such things existed. But even less did he know that gratitude also did not exist in that place. The good thing was that his ‘grandparents’ were always helping him, gave him food, washed his cloths, and even bought books for him. They were neither rich nor poor. They didn’t care much for technical gadgets, and therefore had no computer nor all kinds of automats.

But Shano was not the guy to remain sad for a long time, and soon he found another job, not so interesting as the former (he was now selling socks, pants and hats), but earned much more, and he had a contract. Because it was a big shop and always busy, he managed to get some of the street boys working in that shop, mainly at the weekends. At least they would be provided cloths, education and some pocket money. Also Shano could himself buy discounted cloths there and give them to some of the street children. But something was hurt, deep in his psychology, under the surface of daily awareness. Something of Shano’s innocence had been damaged. In him grew a trifle of contempt for people who were not good, who were not helping others, but thought of themselves alone, and with that some sadness and even unexpressed anger settled in his heart – a feeling he had never known before. He adored his ‘grandparents’ though – and now only he realized how special it was that he had first met the women in the car when he was approaching the city for the first time and then these ‘grandparents.’ He was now aware that otherwise he would merely have become a dirty street boy. A bond for life grew between Shano and his wardens. They were intelligent and highly educated, but still simple people, who said that they had learned much from their guru – who had now died, but to whom they remained true always. Shano would have liked to meet that guru, but of course he could not just go to heaven and talk to him – even the best computer and spaceship couldn’t bring him there.

Shano had made many friends, and, knowing that he had little money, they would sometime invite him to the cinema. Despite the fact that every single citizen had at least one 3-D TV or 3D-TV goggles on which they could receive every single channel in the world, going to movies was still very popular, especially among young people. In this way Shano saw quite a few movies. On TV he usually only followed the news, to feel himself connected with the weal and woe of the world. But Shano really didn’t understand much of the movies. He could not understand why his friends and thousands of other people liked looking to fighting, shooting, killing, sex, guns and pistols, or kung fu fight with blood spattering around. It was always about the same story: ‘brave’ boys and strong but appealing girls. Actually he didn’t like it at all. Moreover it seemed not very realistic to him: apart from the small fact that some boys had beaten him up for a handful of money, he had never seen or experienced anything on the street of what the movies showed all the time. Looking at such movies bored him beyond measure, but in order not to disappoint his friends he usually went with them anyway.

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