Mangoes This Summer by Preeti Karmyogi SignUp
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Mangoes This Summer
by Preeti Karmyogi
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  Its not just mangoes or the seasonal fruits held in a polythene,
At a bus terminus in the hands of a horde of men and women,
They haggle for sumptuous desires for their little ones.

That mustached face underlined with the marks of a lost tiff with his colleague,
Will shout at his children and growl at his labor wrung wife’s inefficiency at home,
He strikes a deal with the rehdiwallah,
Attempting to hide the objective of smile, coaxes him for lesser price.
He will also rummage for junk in the courtyard,
So as to muster for another day’s polybag at the same pushcart.

That bedraggled-thatch-haired woman,
With not yet faded remnants of her beautiful bygone days,
Has a note in her fist.
She makes her way through richly laden platforms,
And approaches the dilapated looking cart
Exhibiting the wrinkled, not sought after mangoes.
She will get the dreams in just half the price.
One month has passed,
Her young ones haven’t tasted the golden mouth-watering summer delicacy.
Just yesterday when she was holding their arms on the way back to school,
She noticed the desire cornering their eyes
when she walked past the same mandi.
Her heart was ripped apart.
She cursed herself for being poor and a wife of drunkard.
The twinkle in the eyes, at the sight of mangoes drove her mad.
And she earned a tenner for stitching a pair of pajamas of a tailor,
her frequent employer.
The tearful strained eyes were glistening last night
With a smugness of anticipated imminent happiness.
She didn’t do the purchase in the morning.
Who will let her utter a word for reduction in the price at that hour?
She didn’t tell, nor bring her children along.
It would be a torture to be not able to eat
till the 15 minute long errand comes to an end.
And now when the sight re-waters her kid’s mouths, s
he wipes the maternal ambrosia with the end of her greased dupatta.

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July 06, 2003
More By: Preeti Karmyogi
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