Buying Death

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
No !
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.


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