Fire in the Hole
And there you go— cover your ears before the sound of the blast makes you deaf.
But the scenario is different here.
The first ever fire in the hole sows the seed of happiness among hundreds of souls dwelling around. The season has started— they can now dedicate themselves to this desolate hell of dust and humidity to get a penny before every weekend. And their families can finally afford to have regular meals; occasionally, a few pieces of chicken cooked with hot spices.
Do you know where this hole exists?
It’s the brickfield I am talking about.
I had to visit a massive brickfield at a distant place today to resolve some past issues related to my father's business. It was my first ever visit to a brickfield and luckily, it was one of the largest I have seen so far. Thousands of bricks piled here and there ready to be shipped to their respective site. Also, numerous sheds with unprocessed brick layouts are standing by to be placed inside the massive hole where they are baked.
Surpassing the massive collection of red bricks, you will notice a different species there. Covered in dust, many workers are carrying coals, processing dirt, transporting unfired bricks, mending the fireplace, and making sure the fire is evenly distributed. They have one thing in common— sun-burnt dark skin tone with a promising face ready to go above their limits to bring food to the table of their families back in their homes.
They undergo all the miseries only to see their loved ones smile. They sacrifice their happiness only to offer luxury to their families. Some even don’t bother to die in hardship just to ease the pain of the awaiting faces who will starve if they can't provide.
A common picture of any brickfield in the country.
A few days ago while I was visiting the local doctor, a column in the newspaper caught my attention— a newly married woman was gang-raped while she was looking for her husband as it was past evening and her husband had yet to back home. She was raped by the workers of the same brickfield where her husband works alongside them. More shockingly, her husband was tied to chains during the whole time those bastards were devouring her.
During my stay over there, I dared not take any pictures of the field and the people working there. Not because I was afraid of the authority but because I simply couldn’t. Taking their picture seemed to be a mockery of their hardship; as if I am enjoying seeing them get halk-baked in the scorching sun with no roof over their head to take shelter periodically.
And I— I was observing them from a safe distance sheltered under a roof with multiple ceiling fans to cool the temperatures down. Such is life; such is the definition of privileged.
Photo by Ravi Shankar on Unsplash
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Last year, I visited one, and since that day whenever I hear the word 'brickfield,' all I can imagine is dust, dust, and dust everywhere. I have seen many workers covering their faces with clothes but I don't think it's gonna protect them from fatal diseases in the long run. On that day, after hearing their wages I just uttered, "There are lots of better works to do instead of this." Even I had yelled at my friend who took me there because he too has workers who drive his tractors.
The last incident is shameful. Every week we are facing such inhuman acts. I don't think one can read the whole newspaper without getting such unpleasant news, most of the news articles are frustrating.
Their wage is way marginal compared to their hardship but who will fight for them. In this social system, poor are "supposed" to be exploited. Most employers take advantage of their helplessness and that's how such gruesome crime takes place. We should be ashamed of our inhumanity.