Hope 1/3

Luggage is strewn across a little corner in the bus stop. Her clothes are all raggedy and her hair’s rubbish. People feel irritated by their presence and give them despicable looks occasionally. A little child wails in her arms, in want of milk. But she doesn’t have any. The child’s elder sister isn’t much of a help to her mother. In fact, she’s a burden. She’s busy staring at a stranger’s smartphone, gaping at it in fascination. She was once close to dreaming about having it, and that’s about the closest she ever got to owning it.

 

Long before she could fully marvel at it, her eyes fell upon yet another luxury. This one, she could never have dreamt of. She saw a girl, only a few years older than her, who had her arms wrapped around a guy’s arm…..her boyfriend. She had always despised men, more correctly, she was taught to. What her dad had done to their family was unforgivable, and her mom was quick to generalize her dad’s malevolence to all men. All men are the same she had said. Her mom had warned her to keep away from them, and so she did.

 

It was easy until she began to develop feelings for them. “Ehh! They’re not that bad”. But her mom’s vexed remarks still echoed in her head. “Men!”, she’d say with a sigh…..eyes rolled upward. She struggled to suppress the infatuation. She begged to differ from her mom, but couldn’t dare talk back to her. She felt crushed between her mother’s ideals and hers. But she decided to give up hers, cause her mom was always right.

 

Her thought train derails when a dog starts barking loudly at her mom. She tries to shoo it away, but the dog seems adamant. What a pity? Not even the dog was afraid of them. Earning respect in the society was becoming costlier than earning money. Those who didn’t know them despised them, and those who did know, just pitied them. Every passing day was a bitter reminder that they were on their own.

 

Amidst the shouting and noise, a bus comes to a screeching halt. It was what they had been waiting for. The bus was getting cramped and crowded as more people tried to get in. They quickly grab their belongings and board the bus as fast as they can. But not surprisingly, they were the last to get in.

 

They didn’t seem to mind. They had gotten used to it. But now was not the time to worry….cause things were about to change for good. The bus would take them to their village. They were going home.

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The Exhibition

She was hit by a flood of happiness when her dad had said, “We’re going to the exhibition today!”. The remainder of the day, spent in wait for that evening, was all a blur. Lessons taught in school were heard but not understood. Food was eaten but not savored. The hot topic of the day was her exhibition plan and she told it to everyone who greeted her. Every time she told someone, her excitement seemed to grow, proportional to the number of people she had enticed.

 

“Samyuktha! Tell me what’s 4 squared two?” She blinked for a second, regaining her senses as she reeled back into reality. But it wasn’t long before she answered. She was a topper. “Concentrate” her ma’am said sternly and she sat down embarrassed. She wanted to listen, so she did. Five minutes pass, and Snap! She was dreaming again.

 

The vast expanse of the exhibition was vivid in her imagination. The entrance was modeled after the ‘Taj Mahal’, which symbolically tried to suggest, that the exhibition resonated with the grandeur of the monument. Petite shelters were lined up at the entrance and were glowing in pink. Kids surrounding the stands, outstretched their hands over the counter in want of feather like cotton candy. Crowded lanes were all tangled up giving, every passerby stuck in the maze, the impression that the place was way bigger than what it really was. The relentless cries of hawkers and the humorless banter of customers, kept the place lively and abuzz.

 

What little solitude was left in the place, was gobbled up by the squeals of excited passengers on amusement rides. This was the second best attraction at any exhibition, and it was only next to shopping.

 

She imagined herself on every one of the rides. In her fantasy, she had the guts to get on the roller coaster. She was tall enough to drive a bumper car. She had the time to admire the city lights from the vantage point when the giant wheel reached it’s zenith. She would’ve imagined a merry-go-round but the continuous spinning makes her nauseous.

 

Food savored at the exhibition was always the same. Typical. It was always Pav Bhaji, Chole Bhature and Cutlet Ragada. It never got better, but it never got boring either. What happened after that wasn’t quite clear. She didn’t imagine anything beyond the fun part, maybe because she didn’t want it to end. But it had to. Cause the time had come for her dream to come true.

 

She wanted to make sure that she’d do every single thing she had imagined. Like a mental checklist. She filled her head with expectations and her heart with excitement. She couldn’t contain the enthusiasm any longer. The school’s final bell rang. She didn’t have to.

He Ran

He ran.

Until he saw no road, he ran.

Until there were no people to be seen.

Until there were no people he could see.

 

He ran.

Until his lungs cried out, he ran.

Until his breath was heavy and his legs started burning.

Until his head felt light and his heart stopped burning.

 

He ran.

Until it pleased him, he ran.

Until his sole wore out.

Until his soul wore out.

 

He ran.

Until he saw the sunset, he ran.

Until he could see the sun touch the ground.

Until he could feel himself off the ground.

 

He ran.

Until he fell apart, he ran.

Until the cold breeze could freeze him.

Until the cold of his people couldn’t reach him.

 

The Tightrope Walker

Parched was his throat,

and his stomach funnily growled,

the sound of which was drowned,

in the pandemonium of the crowd.

 

His feet started to tremble,

the sun too strong on his slender body.

He couldn’t do this anymore,

walking on this thin rope high up in the air.

 

He pleaded with his eyes,

but a glare from his master silenced him, perhaps forever.

 

One more step and he felt light, his body floating through the air,

one last thud, and he smiled, his sorrows over for a lifetime.

Ways of Life!

There are many ways of life they say,

some take time and some start right away.

But for all those events to take their place

there is a wheel of time that says

ripening is felt by those who wait

coupled with the weight of fate.

Not a single soul can escape

destiny’s mystic yet colorful drape.

There are many ways of life they say

Its only time before each event unfolds

after every night comes a beaming day.

So much out there is yet to be conquered, so much yet to gain.

But as the adage goes :Nothing comes without pain

You have to leave your sorrows behind

and march ahead to become one of a kind.

Know thy quest and follow thy master

for there is nothing more to a diamond than its lustre.

Every bud is a drop of divine, waiting for itself to bloom with radiance.

Only with thy grace shall I come to find,

my place in thy world and play sublime.