The old man with a week's growth of weak white stubble bristling out untidily from his sweaty face all unkempt and attired in oil-and-dirt stained and crumpled clothes lay asleep at the foot-wide curb that flanks the supreme court building of Maldives on one side and faces the local vegetable market on the other. His back bolstered by the building wall behind him was enough to keep his body stable but his arm had slid off in his sleep onto the road space that was the path of the incoming throng of motorcycles and lorries that made up the mid-morning traffic at that junction. And it was quite probable that these drivers always in their impatience and hurry would not perhaps notice that arm lying in front of them. It was a pathetic sign and sight and a veritable contradiction. The supreme court that meted out justice to the nation on one side and the site that dispensed nutrition to our masses on the other. But this old man of "no means" lay disowned and disdained. Where is justice and where is the municipality that is the physical conscience of our city?
How can democracy in our new nation be played out this way? Surely, taking care of this man and some others of this same plight that inhabit this space in Male can be taken care of more humanely. Surely a pittance of the stupendous expenditure doled out for those expensive political campaigns in the atolls will be enough to address these pressing social concerns. We seem to be a mesmerized nation attempting to find a servant to look after our house yet being dictated by the terms of the servant.