From the pile of newspapers cut to square shape, she took one out, rolled it into cone, slipped the hot nuts into it and gave away as the customers arrived and departed. When the area around was unoccupied, she got back to stirring the peppery groundnuts in her deep shallow pan, which had turned coal-black now from the constant firing. The white-haired woman looked comfortable on the footpath, with her body crooked and leaned back against a stand pole while both her legs stretched out straight, one over the other. 


And then there were these street vendor boys strolling with their odds and sods. When one of those got into the bus that I was grumpy over it’s delay, I noticed his hands camouflaged by bunch full of colourful watches and a row of pens hanging down from his shoulder as he stood at my side. I wanted to ask him right away ‘Don’t you go to school?’ but then this boy looked somewhat my age, so I held myself back. Having had good experience, I knew it from his silence that he wanted me to buy stuffs from him though he uttered not a word. Inspite of nodding my head quite widely from left to right, he still stood there a while longer, lingering until I entirely put him in my ignorance. And then shifted to the person at the following seat. Before we drove off, the newspapers and popcorns had finished their turns too, which quite went out in a same fashion. Somewhere on the way, I did feel sorry for the poor guys sweating out throughout the day at the bus stand, but picturing myself with a plastic fluorescent watch round my wrist and a fiddle-fit sunglass put on, gave me the roar of laughter that even Merry Andrew failed to!

But on a serious note, though it’s not uncommon that we come across misfortunes such as this on a daily basis, it’s unfair. To bystand the octogenarians and juveniles make their living on a footpath, by the drainages, taking in the polluted air caused from the bus engines, have people literally walk over them with their footwears and spitting. It’s a misery, really, to watch people end up in a warped and bangarang environment all their life. Howbeit, at the end of the day, maybe that’s how it is; A life that’s chosen, and not given.


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