Child of Humanity
works in shifts and she doesn't really remember since when
she had been working; she doesn't even bother to remember
though. She has no self-esteem and she dare have one. She
is beautiful and would pass for a well endowed woman and she
curses providence for that. she is paid a paltry sum for the
service she delivers; most of which goes into the education
of her son who is 6 yrs old now. It has been eons now that
she had laughed heartily. Now she just smiles to solicit business
for the firm which comes under the service sector (pun intended).
She doesn't cry either. her only leisure is the gossips she
has with other employees of the firm and the company of her
She sings beautiful
lullabies for her son at night even though she is too tired to speak.
It has been years that she had stepped out of her work place. she
suffers from a venereal disease and the medication she is been provided
is just to keep her in working condition. Although she dies everyday,
yet her only reason to live is her son. She works hard and prays
harder that her son would be literate and find some petty job so
that he can get her samosas and jalebis and take her out so that
she could breathe fresh air and see the world through his eyes.
years pass by and she grows weak. The son keeps growing and does
terribly bad at school. He takes to drinking and other nefarious
activities and gets nowhere near to being literate leave alone being
educated. He quits school and uses the money that his mother earns
at the cost of her blood, sweat, tears and of course self-esteem
in drinking and gambling. he treats his mother with disgust. She
is loosing her strength while the son has now grown up to be a strapping
man although his intellect and thoughts are handicapped if not appalling.
But she still dreams of jalebis, samosas and the fresh air.
She just does one shift now. Her debilitating illness has now almost
made her bed-ridden. She is no more beautiful although her inner
beauty is unfathomable. She now prays not only for her only property
but also for humanity. She prays for happiness of people she doesn't
know of. She prays for animals and for world peace. She knows she
is a non-entity, a scum of the face of this earth and this makes
her pray even harder thinking her prayers would still be miles away
from being heard leave alone fructified. Now her son beats her when
she is not able to pay for his drinking binges. He curses her with
all the invectives he knows of. He calls her bad names.
Now she is too
weak and famished a commodity to lend her services. Her protracted
illness is dragging her slowly towards fresh air (pun intended).
her son runs errands for his mother's employer and does other
menial jobs. Although his monetary demands have reduced yet
the chastisement of his mother continues as he thinks she
is responsible for his ill-fate. May be he is correct. She
has stopped dreaming although she gets a lot of time to sleep
now. But she still prays. She talks to her bed and plays with
her pillow. She is a burden to the firm she worked for and
the society at large. despite all these tribulations she finds
peace within the confines of her dingy room and her frail
body. A month later she is found dead on her bed, but an ethereal
smile adorned her face and this smile was not meant for soliciting
She was supposed to
be buried where the other employees had been but that graveyard
seemed to be full. So another fresh piece of land (which happened
to be a lush green field on the slopes of a nearby mountain) was
acquired by the charity of a well-wisher for burials. And that well-wisher's
condition was that the first body to be buried here is to be given
10 times the space that a normal person is allotted. So she gets
one complete corner of the field for herself with oodles of fresh
air (no pun intended here). Also the vista is exhilarating. The
nearby village grows rapidly in population and prosperity. New shops
have sprung up here and there. Just beside her burial spot a jalebi
and a samosa shop had opened and now they are doing roaring business.
She still prays for humanity and loves her son dearly. She still
loves the fresh air and the vista and of course jalebis and samosas.
Her son still calls her a Whore …
Contributing Writer: Suman