Tag Archives: poverty

Bed of thorns.

He sat with his hands folded in salutation. Once a while, a pair of legs would pass by him. He’d put out his open palms asking for alms. Sometimes, someone would drop a fruit or a sweet, other times a couple of coins. Some would walk away without leaving anything behind. Every time he’d get some food, he’d run down the stairs of the temple, take a left, then the first right into an alley, into the slum where he stayed in their one room house.

His mother was lying on the bed, her skin hot to touch, beads of sweat adorning her forehead while the temperature was dipping to single figures. The neighbour had asked him to keep feeding her from time to time. His father came home weekly. He’d seen his father three days ago. Whenever father would come, he’d bring some money and food. But today, the son was the bread earner of the house.

He kept his collected coins behind his pile of school books, fed his mother a sweet or two and ran back to the temple. The eight year old had a lot of work to do.

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Graciously Yours!

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Desires?

Desires?

The rumbling trucks roared along,

The silence of the night drowning it out.

The bodies moved in closer together,

The warmth betwixt they didn’t want to lose out.

 

The eldest had just laid her head down,

When the youngest started bawling again.

As the cries started waking everyone around,

They looked down upon her with disdain.

 

They called this city the place of dreams,

Where stories were of rags to riches.

But all she’d done in the past two years was,

Beg and plead on the beaches.

 

The night was all she knew that was hers,

Her dreams an escape from reality.

Desires were something she learnt not,

It was difficult to even find someone to pity.

 

This post is in support of the UN’s #GlobalGoals on Sustainable Development 2015. Read more about it here.

Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest.

Fire.

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I could see the flames of fire leaping in his eyes. The hungry flames leapt higher trying to fly away with the winds to destinations unknown, on journeys more romantic. The gleaming eyes sent a chill down my spine even as the heat from the flames was making me swelter. I walked away from the man quivering, his words repeatedly playing in my mind. “I will burn you like those leaves if you ever see that boyfriend of yours again. I’ll forget you’re my wife.”

Smoke

He fumbled in his pant pocket. Nothing but a kerchief. Coat pocket. A gum wrapper. Irritated, he threw it away. Inner coat pocket. He found a stick finally! Wiping his brow, he keep his kerchief in his pant pocket again. He lit a match. He saw the flames lick the lips of the stick. The orange embers lit up the stick. He took a drag! Leaning against the pole, he let out the smoke. He felt his anxiety slipping away finally.

stove

She lit the stove. Blue flames leapt up. She kept the match box aside. Placing a pan on the stove, she added a little oil to be heated. Her son was coming back after a good, long six months! He had called her this morning and told her. She wanted to make his favourite food – at least one of it. A trickle of sweat ran down her neck. It was getting hot in here. The Sun was scorching outside. She wished her one room house had a fan that worked.

Corn Cob

They stood together in front of the corn cob seller’s stove. Time had wrinkled their skin, but couldn’t wane their love. Thirty seven years ago, when they’d gone out on their first date, a roasted corn cob was all he could buy her. Thirty seven years later, when he could afford to give her so much, she still wanted to celebrate with just a roasted corn cob and him. “It reminds me of where we actually come from,” she says. The air was chilly. She pulled her shawl tighter. The seller saw her movement too. He silently squatted on the ground and continued roasting and pushed his chair towards the lady. She sat on it and warmed her hands from the heat of the bright and shining coals as her husband lovingly looked on.

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: Would any one of you be gracious enough to come up with another word I can work on?

Of Darker Alleys (Part 1)

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She squinted her eyes to block the Sun out. She counted the coins she had and kept them in a hidden pocket, of her money bag, she had sewn in. Today was the last day she had to do this. Not anymore.

She picked up her bags of vegetables. She saw the vendor stare at her mammary glands. Shuddering at the thought of what he may be thinking, she walked away. Today was the last day she would walk away silently. Not anymore.

She walked down to her home, no, her husband’s home. The men of the village knew what she was. The women of the village were silent watchers. There were many like her here. No one said anything aloud. But the way they stared at her, spoke to her, spoke about her, gave it all away. They were all hand in glove.

Two years ago, she’d set foot in the village. She was happy at the turn of events in her life. From dried grasslands into lush green living. She thanked her fortunes every day and showered love on her fortune changer. At the back of her mind, however she always found something amiss. She ignored it again and again. Her husband’s abject lack of affection, her in-laws’ desire for an early child, the villagers eyeing her with a look that could make fathers drive back daughters into the houses forever, the pity in the eyes of some women for her; it all kept prodding at that feeling of danger lurking around nearby.

Three months ago, she gave birth to her husband’s son. Everyone at the house was overjoyed. She wanted to die. She was a vessel for them. That is all she was. She may be sparsely educated but she was perceptive. She read people’s behavior, heard them talk, noticed things around. She didn’t want to believe her fate. Her husband had married her for a child. Like the other men in the village, he would sell her off after that. The first time her mother in law hugged her was after the test confirmed she was bearing a boy. She sobbed all night.

Once her son was born, she was rarely allowed to be with him. She was to only feed him and take care of him after the others were tired of playing with him. All she became was a nanny to her own son. She had hoped things would change after her child’s birth. They did. The people of the house showered affection. On her son.

(to be continued…)

Graciously Yours!