My day started out earlier than usual, I woke up to go to college. In spite of starting early, I was a quarter hour late to set out. The reason being, I had bought two eyeliners costing me one hundred and fifty rupees and a seventy five rupees sweet pink nail polish and a three hundred rupee kurti the day before, I took more time dressing up.
Every morning, I had to go down the alley full of smokers on one side, breakfast sellers, DVD sellers, old lady selling combs on the other side and vegetable left overs that degraded and gave a nasty stink. Occasionally, a mad man comes your way, adding to the aesthetic value. All this just to get to the other side! Not to mention the crowd and different types of people that come and obstruct your way in the narrow alley.
Once I reach the other side, it’s a five minute walk to my bus stop. The sun shines bright, no bird chirps, morning breeze; you will never find tranquil, only the sound of rickshaw honks, trucks, cars and to add more to the noise pollution, angry dogs who never stop barking.
An old drunk man was walking in the opposite direction, toward me. Behind him was a rusted truck coming to a halt. Unfortunately, it didn’t succeed halting and the edge hit the old man’s shoulder. The old man didn’t trip, luckily. He yelled at the truck driver and then went his way.
I finally reached my stop. As I was waiting, I noticed a lady of around thirty making ‘mogra gazras’ along with her naked son who was busy playing with the string sitting on the bare dirty pavement. Does she make a living out of selling flower chains? I wondered if her son ate three meals a day. Soon a bus arrived, I hoping it would be 207, but tough luck, it was 206. A drop of sweat ran down my cheek, it was hot.
A crying girl caught my attention. She was crying for lays chips. Her parents were trying to make her stop, but to no avail. Why couldn’t they just give her one? A shop was just a stones’ throw away from the bus stop. My parents always went out of their way to give me what I wanted, besides it was only five rupees, affordable right?
The old lady selling combs was passing by as I awaited the bus; I really wanted to escape the hot sun. Why did the old lady have to work in the dry, hot, weather? My dad never lets my grandmother do any work. Doesn’t she have any children who wont let her work?
Long fifteen minutes passed. I was dripped in sweat; I wish I had an umbrella and deodorant. I heard faint drum rolls which later became distinct on the noisy street. It was a tribal person whipping himself and small kids begging. I was frightened by the loud noise they created, I quickly pretended to be busy on my mobile. But the kid came toward me and started begging. I refused but the nomad started yelling and I surrendered by giving him five rupees. Does the kid go to a school? Is he going to earn by whipping himself like his parents? Is he going to b illiterate?
Why don’t the other kids get what they want like me? Why weren’t they born into a rich family? Why does the old lady have to work? Why is the mogra selling lady so poor and uneducated? Will she send her son to a school? Here I am applying a seventy five rupees nail polish and people work so hard just to earn enough to eat a day’s meal. But where did the old man get money to get drunk? Did he spend all his previous days earnings?
It was a mighty wait, questions were buzzing inside my head like a huge swarm of bees. The honks of various vehicles interrupted my thoughts. I saw an empty 207 bus heading my way. It was going to be a smooth ride, I got a window seat and only one question retained, what is life?
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