I remember how it was,
exactly the way it was.
The hut was beside the river
edged underneath a rock,
three walls thatched and a single wall stone
the stove was lit
the room was breathing smoke.
She would prepare dudh chiya for you,
tea leaves in lukewarm water, buffalo milk and a little sugar,
stirred until the color appears,
shimmered until it saturates a little more .
“Rupiya dass ” – she said.
I could see earning ten rupee
was tearing her face with a smile,
that bent in four place.
First place, I’ll save it for quilt this winter
Second, I’ll save it for a new stove
Third, may be son needs new clothes
Fourth, I’ll keep it to boast I’m not broke.
But very soon,
her thoughts disappeared
This ten rupee cannot buy her clothes, quilt or stove
It can buy her beedi to smoke
And so she smokes !
It will buy her nothing but smoke,
a faster way to die -a slower way to choke
Buy her death- nothing more.