I was tired of scavengers. They only believed in living off and on. I was in search of friends, not scavengers. Scavengers, I found in plenty, friends hardly.
So, the search began.
I went into an office and queried: Do you have friends here?
They said, this is an Office, not a match making ground.
I don't want a wife I said, only a friend.
We mean and do business they said.
Idiots I muttered, they don't know what a friend is, what a friend means.
I went to school.
There were class mates, but no friends.
I am your friend one said.
The other said: you sissy you girl. You should get girl friends, someone said.
You are in college now.
I got a girl friend.
After a few days she said: I was only playing up to/ with you.
Forget it I thought.
I went to the university.
There were predators.
They wanted your books and notes.
The scavenging had begun.
I started teaching in a school.
My colleagues wanted me only to take classes in their absence.
Then more scavengers, more and more.
I threw up my hands in despair.
Let me be a crow, I thought, so I could fly.
Then a friend came.
He scavenged on me my pulse, dirt and filth.
I got rid of another scavenger.
Then I was told to pray, to get rid of them.
Despite praying and praying, one scavenger still remains.
That is me.
When I discovered I was a scavenger, I didn't complain. How could I ? I was simply doing what others were doing. This was not duplicity, this was repetition. This was not hypocrisy, this was merely doing what others were.
And, what were they doing?
They were scavenging.
Filth, dirt, squalor.
A scavenger is not filth. He is clean. It is you O people who are...
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Ananya S Guha
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