Small puffs of white dotted the sober yellow sky, not unlike a poet’s painting. She saw through the sun’s glare a shadow of herself- grey and lone.
She was alone. In the middle of a crowded city, in tense days and hot weather, she was blatantly alone. All the excitement, all the frenzy- a sheet of dejection was keeping her away. Not only was she alone, she was horribly miserable about it. Her boyfriend had ditched her on the first day after her assignment, giving her ample time to notice his absence. She wasn’t talking to her mother for fear of reproach on yet another of her bad choices, him. Her boss was conveniently mailing her petty tasks from his cruise ship, so she didn’t meet even him in her day. Bundled up in her apartment with small work and plenty time to kill, she only had her cat for company. The cat. How she envied it. How comfortably it yawned all day and slept peacefully. If only she could be as happy doing nothing. But she wasn’t.
In a fit of anger, she flung her mug at the wall, making a large brown stain and cursing. Well at least she had something to do now. The cat gave her a judging look and went back to sleep. Hell, she said to herself, I’m getting out of the country. I need some fresh air. Charged with the idea, she was boarding a flight to Kathmandu, fifty minutes later.
She was already feeling better with the activity in the last fifty minutes. And as the plane thundered through the sky, she smiled at the puffs of white that had depressed her an hour ago.
A plane rumbled overhead. She covered her ears and crouched in pain. It made her head whirl. It felt heavy cause of the dreams it carried; too heavy for her frail body and empty tummy. Even as the plane darts across the open sky she felt a yearning for it, like she belonged up there with it. But those only had been dreams. Where she truly belonged was the marketplace. This, unlike the open sky up ahead, was crowded. It was filled with people, litter and a Stygian odour. This was where she breathed, mingled and found livelihood.
Three children awaited her return at home, the eldest just over nine. Her husband, once a cobbler, had died just a few weeks after their eldest’s sixth birthday and when the youngest was just a few months old. Thus the burden of raising these children had been left on her shoulders. These same sagging shoulders that carried a basket-full of fruits, vegetables and other merchandise to the market everyday.
She scurries, struggling to stand as a customer inquires at her stall. Her emaciated body is covered by a beautifully woven sari. Her husband had bought it for her birthday. He had kept it a secret and had saved up for months to be able to afford it. She had treasured it, in-fact almost revered it and had saved it only for special occasions. Now, this her treasure was the only piece of clothing that she had that was decent enough to wear. The rest of her garments were either torn or heavily stitched.
Even surrounded by a noisy crowd, she felt alone. Her heart full of pain and disappointment. Yet she still lingered on a hope. A hope that someday, maybe someday things would turn out for the better. That hope was all she had; all that mattered. It gave her strength to face the children every evening and will every morning as she left them for the market.
This was her escape. The only plane that she knew that would carry her away from this abyss to the exotic petals of a faraway island flew only in her mind. Even so, with each plane that flew over the marketplace she felt her own plane flying somewhere in her dreams. She would then manage a smile because then she’d feel that someday she’d be just alright.
Written by Peter and Ruchika
But please just give the credit to Peter. I am NOT being modest, he did it really. So check him out, at www.thirdoracle.wordpress.com