Sunday, January 24, 2010

She looked at the air conditioner with disdain. Just a few minutes ago, as little drops of sweat rolled down her back, the spoiled brat, her employer's son, had turned off the AC muttering something about a bai not needing it.She swept the dust off the floor in precise movements so that little specks of it would not remain behind.The brat had now moved to his room, after trying to avoid stepping on the dirt and making an even bigger mess.She sighed.Kids were so clumsy nowadays.She remembered how she'd had such a graceful gait growing up that everybody thought she'd make a great dancer.Even now, men looked at her retreating figure with appreciation and women with envy as she strolled past the Saturday market, picking up tamatar and methi, never bhindi(Rs.12 per kilo!). She sighed, dreading the prices that'd be put up this week. She continued sweeping, beneath the couch, behind the bookshelf, stray strands of dog fur(they had a big dog with long golden fur, it was quite ugly) kept entangling in the broom. She stopped for a few minutes and looked outside the window.Her eyes automatically searched for the wall clock on the wrong wall and then rested upon it finally and she registered the time.Rich people and their tinted glass windows, no sense of what time it was and how the day would be. She remembered how cloudy it was that morning.Maybe the same weather had continued.After all, she'd already spent three hours on the twelfth floor.So many things could have changed outside.She took a few steps towards the window.She had the strong urge to push it open and let the fresh air in(it was a sliding window, she instantly realised a second later).There were little droplets of sweat on her upper lip and her scalp felt wet with perspiration.Her breathing was heavy.Somehow, with the subtle, invisible beckoning of the window, she felt her day and her life letting go of her.There was nothing to worry about, not the absent husband, not the son's education, not the dwindling currency in the small, metal box she hid under her bed, not the past which she rued so often, the longing for days in school before she left to join her mother to see the inside of people's dirty laundry and hear the scrape of steel wool against aluminium.Life would all be good if only she opened the window.She felt light and easy as she slid the frame and let the air in.Behind her, the gathered dust particles scattered and settled into positions they were looking for.

P.S-No title yet, if you can think of a good one, please do.
P.P.S-If you relate the Rs.12 per kilo bhindi thing to 3 idiots, you have serious issues.However if you do realize that tamatar was once Rs.40 per kilo, you've my blessings!

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