The Wild Children of Northern Pakistan

They haunt me still. I think about them a lot…

For a child to develop normally it needs a good diet, to be cared for by an attentive parent and it needs an environment where it can interact and play with other children. The wild kids of Pakistan, they are not ‘missing’ something. They are not abnormal. But they are so far removed from normal society – so cut off from an education and etiquette and the world of manners – that they make me wonder.

Wonder – is this what we were all like before civilization and the world of table manners?

They way they look at you. The way they were looking at me and my camera and trying to comprehend what I was doing. None of it made sense to them. How could it?! So as far as the higher faculties are concerned they were perplexed. But there is the primitive brain portions that deal with our emotional and fight or flight reflexes. I know. I know. I am approaching this from a human behaviour perspective! When I approached them they were able to establish that I wasn’t a threat. They could tell from my smile and from my body language that I was not a threat. This is a universal human thing. No matter where you are, who you are, you are hard-wired to detect danger.

So my point (I suppose is), that although we live in different worlds – we are still humans – and we can still communicate basic human emotions and feelings with each other. I am tormented by the fact that I didn’t help them more. Give them more. Hug them more. So caught up was I in the moment of taking their picture that I now want to know more about them.

Perhaps too much knowledge takes away the mystique?

Maybe it is better that many questions remain?

I see the beautiful little girl…


And i look at her rugged hair and her dirt-caked fingers and the sores on her face. What was she thinking when I took this photo? Will she grow up to be happy? Will she even survive? Does she have someone that loves her?

One day I will go back. And try and find her again.


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