Saturday, 4 July 2015

That Old Beggar’s Sweet Life

She doesn’t remember much about herself, though bits of her childhood days are still nicely preserved. Her skin has become rubbery soft and her hands, murky, hard; the wrinkles run madly on her whole body. She walks in the town and is known as That Old Beggar. A dingy, skinny dog tags along with her. She spends most of her time around the old damp junk yard, sitting under a scaly tree and pondering over things.

She talks elaborately about her home, sometimes. She speaks of a beautiful country house, her sheep and goats, the kitchen garden and the birdhouse. Once she was found humming a tune and dancing on the road. With an invisible partner, she swayed elegantly in her mind’s ballroom. She had almost stopped the traffic, but when asked, she agreed very politely, to move aside.

There were few people in the traffic who noticed That Old Beggar - A man who had come from the hospital where his mother was admitted.

A middle aged woman with her husband, busy with her thoughts about her family; she didn’t know about her husband or her kids, but she wanted all of them to stay together.

A taxi driver who was humming a tune and a lady sitting in the back seat, reading a newspaper (she was reading about a Muslim girl who won a prize for making a ground breaking discovery in the field of neurology).

A physically disabled girl, who was proudly showing her mother the drawing she had made in her class that day.

Others passed without noticing.

Later That Old Beggar, sitting under the tree, caresses the dingy, skinny dog with a lot of love. She then takes out a burnt, left over cigarette and lights it up. She sits there… quietly for a long time.

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