From the outside, 71-year-old Rishi 's humble home looks dilapidated but fairly habitable. On the inside, it tells a sad and grim picture of the hardships Padilla faces daily as a senior citizen and bachelor.
Padilla’s two-bedroom wooden structure situated on the bustling Moruga Road has never had pipe-borne water nor electricity, while the conditions under which he lives have been unsanitary.
Instead of enjoying his twilight years relaxing, Padilla has been fighting the odds at his home, which is falling apart due to old age and termite infestation.
It was difficult to ignore gaping holes in the flooring of his kitchen which Padilla tiptoes over to do his daily cooking. A termite infestation has also left huge spaces in the weather-beaten walls of his home.
Perched on a sloping piece of land behind the pensioner’s crumbling property is a crudely built outhouse.
Affectionately called "Tony" in the rural community where he lives, Padilla could not remember when his home was constructed but recalled the year in which his wife left him—1999.
"This house probably old as I am. It has some good age," Padilla said.
Padilla relies solely on a small kerosene lamp to illuminate his home at nights.
In three drums outside, Padilla collects rainwater to bathe, cook and wash his clothes.
In a corner of his congested bedroom was a huge pile of dirty clothes.
The second bedroom is occupied by one of Padilla’ sons who is unemployed.
In his kitchen, several unwashed pots, pans and plates were stacked on a table.
"I didn't wash the dirty wares because my water level really low. I just have half a barrel outside and I have to use that to bathe. As soon as the rain comes and I collect some more water I would tidy up," Padilla said.
On his two-burner gas stove, Padilla had just whipped up his favourite meal of rice and corned beef which he described as "horner man food."
Resting on his sheet less mattress was a copy of the Holy Bible which he reads nightly.
"My Bible is my only hope and solace...it gives me courage," said Padilla.
Padilla did not seem perturbed by the unhealthy conditions of his home until it was drawn to his attention.
"The house is in a mess. I get used to it. It really does not bother me but I know I should not be living like this," he admitted.
Padilla, a father of four, said his life has been no bed of roses.
"I know what is hard work. Every day I would go to the plantation to work as a labourer. It's a job I still take seriously. I feel if I give up the work I would die. I have been doing this for years, it’s in my blood," Padilla said.
The little salary and pension Padilla collects pay his bills and put food on the table.
His children, he said, have their own families to take care of.
"No matter how hard I try I can't save to repair my house which is in ruins. If I get lumber to patch up the house, I would take it. Any help would be appreciated. People in the community can't help because they too need help. So, we are all in the same boat," Padilla laughed.
As villagers drove and walked past Padilla's home, they called out to him unaware of his plight.
With a broad smile, Padilla waved back, as he continued to suffer in silence.