Being busy lately (with what else but work) plus a short overseas trip has resulted in a lack of updates. Then again, it is not like I’m a popular blogger or anything. I can write whenever I want, and share whatever I want.

Travelling has always given me fresh perspectives when looking at things. Many times, we are so caught up in the rat-race of modern society that we fail to appreciate what we have. I shall be the first to admit I’m guilty of this.

I have a roof over my head, and I’m in relatively good health. I earn enough to live comfortably, though not luxuriously. To many people who are less lucky, they cannot even begin to dream of accomplishing any of these “simple” things.

Reading through this Associated Press article documenting the plight of Indian tea-estate workers, it paints a very bleak picture indeed.

Death arrived soon after the Bundapani tea estate closed last year. Deprived of health care and food rations, workers who had been scraping by on $1.50 per day were left with nothing.

To me, USD$1.50 is somewhat of an insignificant amount but it is everything they’ve got, and yet it is now taken away from them.

His wife, Puliya, seeming 20 years older than her 50, sat emaciated on the floor, her tiny arms mummified by malnutrition. She cannot move anymore, so Ramesh cannot leave her to look for work. Nearby, his daughter-in-law stared upward, suffering from tuberculosis. Beneath her, the dirt floor of the house was slowly being eaten away by the rains.

I cannot even begin to imagine the kind of lives these families are living. Well, that makes me appreciate my warm meals, weather-proof apartment and air-conditioned bedroom a little bit more.

In the past year, at least 69 tea workers have died across Bundapani and four other shuttered tea plantations in West Bengal, according to the Right to Food campaign, an advisory committee to the Supreme Court that is monitoring the deaths. Sunil Bakhshi, 71, who recently gave up his position as chief clerk at Surendranagar, said he hadn’t been paid since 2003.

Honestly?! Would you contemplated working for 10 years without being paid?

Once in a while, I might start sharing little snippets like this just because I want to. Kind of helps to keep myself grounded and more appreciative of what I have.

On a happier note, Travel Smart Rewards (formerly InSinc) has been good to me for the month of September! I usually win around $5 to $10 monthly on top of my free rides in the morning, so this was a huge surprise. If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for?!

Travel Smart Rewards (InSinc)