what scared me the most
was the look on the face of the
wife of the farmer
who had lost both her children
because the village didn't want girls
so she couldn't be a mother again
then she lost her husband
she couldn't be a wife again
so when she found both her nieces
abandoned by her sister
she took them in
and promised herself to love them
in sadness and joy
but the latter she never felt
except for the one time when
Mouli, the little one called her Maa
who hailed from a rich family
experienced wealth again
in the presence of her two nieces
Mouli and Radha
her family had disowned her
when she married Tilak,
a farmer, who was once a Zamindar
but lost all his money trying to feed a village
being the sole provider at the time
of need, only to be deserted
by the rest of the desert village.
Chitrangada had two nieces to raise
and no sources of income.
that's why she came to this city.
she could've sold her body
at the price of meat
but she chose to put in hours of toil
working by the construction site
providing, what she does best -
for the once putting in physical labour
to accomplish the dream of someone they
barely knew, and would possibly never find out about -
Chitrangada too, sold her ang,
but not to the trade of meat,
she hails from the land of literature
and into literature she will go.
two weeks ago her nieces were
on their way back from school and
Chitrangada was working by the construction site
providing, so she could provide for her nieces.
when the news of Mouli being assaulted by
workers of a political agenda
reached her ears before the former, and Radha
could reach their presumed mother.
I met Chitrangada, two days ago
when I was passing by the construction site
and was astonished, having seen for the first time
a provider at the construction site
speaking English during a negotiation, while subtly sobbing.
I decided I wanted to speak to her.
Something seemed so wrong with her.
I finally mustered up the courage to walk up to her and ask,
what was wrong, to which she replied
I'm not liable to tell you anything, in the language
that most strikes my heart, my native tongue
and I wondered if she knew I could understand it
I responded with,
"Ami sudhu kotha bolte cheshtha korchhilam."
which bluntly translates to, I was just trying to make
conversation, and to my surprise, she was glad.
it wasn't lunch time or time for snacks,
so she found some free time
and we sat by the pile of concrete blocks
asking her what went wrong
and why she was so tensed
to which she replied with,
"my daughter has entered the meat trade
to provide for my other daughter who is probably
breathing her last few breaths"
and I knew that if she expected something
it was bound to happen, because she was a mother
not by blood but by duty
"I came to this city to provide for my daughters
but look at where we've ended up, my daughter
has entered what I struggled to avoid"
with a soft sob and a teardrop accompanying
"I've lost all my daughters."