Sunday, 13 May 2012

Neighbours are Bad Friends

So, what is it with perimeter-walled fences
That barricades good neighbours?
On metal gates, there are warning signs
Of mbwa kali (fierce dogs) and 24-hour surveillance
What happened? What changed?

I thought if I came over and said my greetings
Like good neighbours do, the least I could expect
Was a thermos flask full of tea and perhaps
Little of suspicious looks
But not so

Instead, neighbours know each other
If their flowerpots are knocked over by neighbour’s children
Eye-brows knit, gates are opened for process servers
Suddenly, they know each other
If the other pumps over his home theatre’s volume
Of course to out-compete the other’s house all-night prayers

I stand in-between these Berlin-walled residences
I wonder to myself, wasn’t it a thief’s theory
That the higher the wall, the mighty the residence
Which equals more likelihood for attack?

In the past, it was my business
To know how many children my neighbor has
If his child sat while I passed, I taught it manners
If I try it today, they call it ‘assault’
If I find out why they are not awake on a Saturday morning
They call it ‘intrusion to privacy’

Is this the new form of neighbourliness?

Photo credit: Link


Mrsupole said...

It is so sad that attitudes have changed but in some strange way it seems as if we are regressing back to the cave man days when everyone was afraid of everyone who might take what little they have.

I remember when we left the keys in the car, never locked our doors and left everything outside knowing in the morning it would still be there. Then one day it seemed to change. We had been robbed. We never left the keys in the car, we kept the doors locked all the time and nothing was left outside except what was supposed to be outside. And we slowly forgot who the neighbors were, and now we barely know our neighbors.

Sometimes progress is not really good progress.

Thanks for playing with us in this weeks Neighbor Theme Thursday. Hope to see you next Thursday.

God bless.

Aashi said...

How true. Today people look at each other in such a suspicious manner. in fact some time back I was warned by my father not to talk or entertain kids at a mart. He said that these days people don't like others even smiling at their kids as they think that we are harassing them. I was shocked. I mean it was so common for me to smile or even talk a child i randomly met on the elevator or the mall. In fact they were usually ice-breakers for me. but thanks to a handful of weirdos even a simple act of smiling has suddenly been put as an action of harassment. Pity.

btw i had written this poem on people not believing beggars anymore and thanks to a few beggars those who are genuinely suffering suffer a worse fate.

would love your comments on the same.

echoesofthehills said...

It is very unfortunate, Mrsupole. BTW, on your name, "Upole" is a Kiswahili word for gentleness.

Thanks for what you are doing at Theme Thursday.

echoesofthehills said...

What a society we have turned into, Aashi! Thank you for your incisive comment and welcome to the echoes of the hills.

I will visit your blog shortly.

Post a Comment

Echoes of the Hills is all about you. I would love to hear your echo...

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Disqus for Echoes of the Hills