Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Watched by Marina Budhos

Naeem used to be a good kid. He used to do his homework, get decent grades, and help out around the house and store, until he started to hang with the wrong people. Person really, Ibrahim. Ibrahim was a loner, a pathological liar, and willing to get his friend into trouble without a second thought. One day, it goes too far and Naeem gets into some real trouble. The police take advantage of the situation, a Bangladeshi boy in a spot of trouble without anyone to help him. Naeem doesn’t want to, but the cops make it sound like he is in so much trouble and they can make it all disappear if he will just let them know what is going on in his neighborhood. Which of his neighbors might be of interest to the police. Plus, they promise to pay him for his skills and the tidbits he can share! Nothing wrong with telling that right?
As he gets into his job, Naeem starts to feel some pride in what he’s doing and the money he brings in really makes a difference to his family. Life starts to get better, his parents seem younger and more interested in new possibilities. But, as his police contacts start to push for more, he really starts to question if what he is doing – going from being watched to watching -  is really the right thing to do.
This is a very timely story. One never really knows who is watching as each and every one of us (though obviously some are watched more than others) move through our lives.  

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