Tag Archives: Poetry

Twist of Fate

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The determined woman huffs and puffs as she climbs the stairs. She’s been doing this for 15 minutes and it’ll be at least another 20 before she gets to the top. She hasn’t worked this hard since she was with her ex-husband. That lazy oaf never liked to move in bed, she always had to be on top – though he could never see her since his stomach was so big. She’s going higher and higher because there’s a fortune teller who lives up there. He is known as Bodo, and her friends are crazy about him. They say he is very good.

She knows it’s silly but she hopes Bodo will reassure her that her favorite character will not die in the next episode of a TV show she watches every afternoon. But she has graver matters to discuss with the famed seer. Her eldest child – a stupid boy trapped in a man’s body – has borrowed money from the wrong entity. (He takes after his father, her ex-husband). Her son thinks he’s borrowed from a friend, but in reality he’s taken a loan from the Devil himself. She’s afraid that if her son cannot pay back his debts, her jewelry will be taken away from her.

But she can’t help but think that she should’ve waited a little longer before seeing Bodo. Bodo has not kept well since his encounter with a mermaid. Perhaps he still needs more time to recover?

The mermaid fell in love with the captain of a passing ship, the captain promised to return for her one day, but she’d been waiting for years. When Bodo informed her that the captain had fallen in love with someone else, the mermaid snapped and attacked Bodo. But she came to her senses before killing him. After all, there is no sense in shooting the messenger.

The determined woman reaches the summit. She approaches the rustic looking tent and waits.

“Enter.”

Bodo’s voice is calm, deep, and soothing to the ears. She gently steps inside Bodo’s humble abode. He looks perfectly healthy.

“I have heard so much about you.” She begins quickly. “And I have so many things to-”

“I am sorry my child, but my powers are not what they once were.” Bodo sighs. “I fear it will take some time for me to return to full strength. My body may have recovered from the mermaid’s assault, but my mind is not yet at peace. Violence has shaken my soul.”

Apologies spill out of her mouth, if she had known she never would’ve come.

But Bodo holds up his hand and shuts his eyes, “You have taken great lengths to see me… so I shall see what I can see for you…” Bodo concentrates. “Your son… no… it can’t be…”

“What? What is it?” The woman asks anxiously.

“Your son… is in love with the captain who broke the mermaid’s heart. He and the captain have eloped.”

As the woman is making her way down, she can’t help but wish she never had children. That ungrateful son of hers. First he gets himself into debt. Then he dumps the responsibility of repaying the debt on her head. May her son and this captain sink to the bottom of the sea!

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The Shower

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He’s showering after a traumatic day. His father was shot in a bakery. It was a robbery. Dad tried to be a hero. He drove his dad to the hospital. Ambulance was taking forever. The doctors said his dad will need surgery and that it would be a few hours before he’d be allowed to see his dad. His girlfriend suggested he go home and change out of his blood stained clothes. She went home with him. He got into the shower. That’s where he is now, wondering why today happened. The temperature of the water is just perfect, but his life was far from perfect even before his dad was shot, and now his life is so far from perfection that perfection seems like a dot from where he’s standing.

He hears the bathroom door open. Looks like his girlfriend is about the join him. It feels wrong that he’s about to get intimate with his girlfriend while his dad is at the hospital. But what else can he do? It’s in the doctors’ hands now. Or God’s if you ask his grandmother. The glass shower door is foggy so he can’t see her yet. He waits for her to slide open the shower door and join him. But then he hears a sound that he already heard earlier that day – a gunshot. And then he feels what his father felt earlier that day – the feeling of a bullet inside him. He falls, blood mixing with water.

The shower door slides open and a masked man looks down on him and says, “Like father, like son.”

Mountain Girls That Trek To School Every Day

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Meet Radhika and Yashoda – two sisters who live in a remote village in the Himalayas. It takes them 2-3 hours to get to school depending on the weather. That might not sound like a big deal, lots of people all over the world have long commutes. Well, Radhika and Yashoda don’t have access to any kind of convenient transportation for most of their journey. To get an education, these two teenagers must literally trek to school. They must trek through a forest where wild animals can appear out of nowhere, especially in the morning. They once saw a wild bear and have been scared ever since.

After two hours of trekking, they have to cross a fast moving river. There’s no bridge (it was destroyed due to floods a few years ago) so they have to get into a small metal trolley suspended by a cable. Quite daunting as there’s gushing water below and the trolley must be operated manually by pulling a rope. It takes a lot of strength, especially when it rains because when the rope is wet it’s harder to pull. People have fallen into this river. People have lost fingers by accidentally touching the overhead cable (and the trolley has many sharp edges).

Not only do these brave girls worry about their safety, they also worry about getting their clothes dirty. Their hands get dirty enough from opering the trolley but they don’t want their nice white trousers to get stained. Oh but before they even get to the river, they have to trek for two hours as I mentioned, and the footpath (where they trek) is filled with loose stones. They have to be careful not to fall and hurt their hands, because they won’t be able to operate the trolley or be able to write properly in school.

Yashoda wants to become a police officer. Radhika wants to be a teacher and teach all the kids in her village. They don’t want to get married in their teens like their mother and aunts did, and do housework all their lives. That’s why they trek to school every day. After they cross the river, they wait for a taxi to take them to school. And they don’t have to wait till the next day to do this all over again – they have to go through the same perilous journey while going home from school. Their parents worry about their daughters’ safety every single day and are not at peace until their daughters return home in the evening.

On the upside the mountain scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. During the monsoons they see many tiny waterfalls while traversing through the forest. In the winter when the leaves are falling from trees, it looks like nature has laid out a red carpet to welcome somebody important (Those are Yashoda’s words). And the girls can even drink water that’s made its way down from the mountains – water that is actually pure and fresh unlike the crap bottled water companies sell.

They’ve asked their father to rent a room closer to school but he tells them he can’t afford it. Some teachers scold the girls for being late and tell them that they should live closer to the school if they are serious about their studies. But those teachers are seriously blind if they can’t see how dedicated these girls are. Not many kids would be able to do what Radhika and Yashoda are doing.