Thursday, September 27, 2012

The family, The share

The bus stop was quite empty save the blind beggar who sat in a corner, requesting passersby to increment their own good karma by offering him some alms.

Bus No 110G turned right at the signal and stopped with a screeching noise.

Murugan alighted. His shirt was nearing its eighth anniversary and had now evolved into a permanent dull brown from its initial white. The worn out rubber sandals offered as much support as they could to his tired feet.

As he started walking, the bus sped off , fulfilling its role in maintaining the impurity levels in the air and leaving him in a puff of smoke.

He walked in a slow gait, his forlorn face fixed on the ground below.

As he neared the slum, the voices of his boys made him look up. They were fully engrossed in a game of marble with the other kids. Muthu, ten and older of the two was about to strike and was fully concentrating on his fingers while the younger Kumar, eight , cheered on.

Murugan got reminded of his marble ventures as a kid. He managed to give himself a slight smile despite the heaviness in his heart.

When he entered their hut, Kanaga was folding the children's clothes and piling them neatly in a bamboo basket meant for storing them.

One look at his face was all she needed. She understood. The building contractor had not given him any work today as well. Murugan was a construction worker. The past month had been really tough. Sudden increase in prices of cement and concrete had made the builders stall the work for some time.

Murugan lay on the rope cot and covered his eyes with the back of his arm. He was exhausted . Within minutes, sleep overcame his troubled mind and he drifted into a deep slumber.

Kanaga opened the rice drum. Lighting the stove, she proceeded to boil all that was left of the rice.

The boys were sent to the government school partly for education and partly for the wholesome noon-meal program. These days, they were also giving them an egg per day. That was two meals down from their expense list.

When Murugan woke up, it was very late in the night. He saw the boys curled up their usual places in a corner of the hut. Little Kumar had his legs on Muthu's which the latter kept trying to push away .

"Go wash your hands.Lets eat" Kanaga said seeing that he was awake.

When he sat down to eat , he saw the quantity of the rice in the bowl. In good times it would not be enough for even one of them.

He let out a sigh and sat down crossing his legs.

"Has Mani eaten?" he asked.

Kanaga smiled and said "When has he eaten before you?"

She served one portion for him, and one for herself.

Then she placed a handful of rice on the floor.

"Mani! Mani" both of them called in unison.

A brown colored dog came running from outside the hut and came and stood near Murugan, its tail wagging fervently. He let out a small 'Woof' and looked at him with soulful eyes.

There was a small cut behind his ears and it was slightly bleeding. Murugan chided "Have you been fighting with that white dog again?"

The family  began eating in silence.







89 comments:

  1. Lovely narration of a slice of life!

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  2. This is the state of many a homes, unfortunately! Poignant depiction, Jayashree!

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    1. Thanks Rahul . Despite their difficulties simple joys do exist in these homes!

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  3. A vivid peek into a grim world that co exists with the glitter and shine around. I'm so touched by your depiction, Jayashree. Great Job.

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    1. That sounded like a heartfelt comment Anupam . I am touched and thanks a ton :)

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  4. I loved both the thoughts behind your every post and the way you narrated is simple astounding.

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  5. You narrate really well, Jaishree....very nice thought and nicely woven...

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  6. Mmm! Amid the poverty and hunger they still have the generosity to feed their dog. Great tale, Jaish!

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    1. Well put in a nutshell Suresh :) Thanks for the comment :)

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  7. Beautiful story Jaish...very touching.

    I can just say for Murugan May his tribe increase!

    It is such a rare sight to see such people who would want to think of others without any selfish motives.

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    1. True Me. People dont think of other humans leave alone animals!

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  8. Good narration Jayashree and quite a familiar story with most people who are dependent on daily wages in our country !!!

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    1. Thanks Engram. They lead a hand to mouth existence!

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  9. Replies
    1. Loved your post so much, I decided to feature it! Check it out:
      http://momofbigalittlea.blogspot.com/2012/09/what-ive-been-reading-this-week-12.html

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  10. ..beautifully narrated! Life's like that!!

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    1. Thanks Amitji. Glad that you liked it!

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  11. Beautifully done..Pyaar ke sikkon se mahine ka kharcha chale!!

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    1. You know what, I read 'mahine' as 'machine' ha ha and was bewildered for a second...Then I read it again :D

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  12. Aah, the pure joy of sharing with loved ones, both human as well as non-human.
    Nicely written Jaish:)
    Keep posting.

    Regards

    Jay
    http://road-to-sanitarium.blogspot.in/

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    1. Thanks a lot Jay. There is a unique joy in giving that nothing can equate.

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  13. agree with the comments above.. a poignant slice of life, well narrated.

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    1. Thanks a ton for stepping in and for the comments Roshan :)

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  14. wonderfully narrated -reality of life comes out through it very well

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  15. Very good story, very important points coming out from a simple story of developments for over a period of an hour or two.Really good writing.

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  16. Manidhan enbavan deivam aaghalam :)

    This was a moving piece - and being born in the year of the Dog - I am crazy about dogs :) this story deserves a specail mention :)

    Congrats !!!!

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  17. Special mention :) something weird I end up making a spelling mistake when I comment on your blog or Ashwini's blog - I need to get my head examined :)

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    1. ha ha, Maybe you type too fast...But why me and Ashwini? :) Thanks for the comment. Oh you were born in the year of the Dog? Interesting.

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  18. One rich family this - rich from a wealth of simple values in humanity to treasure! A very heart warming tale beautifully narrated, Jaish!

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    1. Yes Arti , well put. Values decide the richness of a family!

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  19. ...was so near to my heart, may be because of the character names in Tamil
    ...and the Rythm is wonderful I have to compare it with something;
    it flowed like a honey from a bottle.
    Hats off.

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    1. Oh God!! That comment has put me on cloud nine. :D Thanks for those generous words of praise Sathish :)

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  20. Love your details.Magnanimity of the poor should stir us too.

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    1. Thanks Indu. I have really seen in on the streets of Chennai. People without even a roof above their heads will be compassionate towards these creatures! We should learn from them!

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  21. Your narration has such a natural flow to it, Jaish. The descriptions take us right into the story world.

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  22. Beautiful are the thoughts behind the story Jaish :)

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  23. The very first para touched the chord....and this went till the last. What a family indeed...:)))
    Awesome!!

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  24. And again, Jaish draws us to the very heart and soul of another tale. Nicely done, (again). :)

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    1. Oh My! That comment was touching Divya. Thaaaaaaaaaank Youuuuuu ! :D

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  25. Hi Jayashree

    I watched a short film called Dharmam earlier today - someone had posted it on FB - its about a kid who is playing the role of beggar for the school fancy-dress competition and meets an old beggar (sad that we have to call a human being that) on the street. When he offers the old man some money from his dad's purse he is told that he should not take money without permission. That was a magical moment.

    The moment you created at the end of your story is similar. Magic, purity, love ...

    Enjoyed your little tale immensely.

    J

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    1. Thank you so much Jayadev. Will try to watch that short film. Seems to be a touching one.

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  26. You have an awesome blog! I'm going to enjoy reading it.
    From Smart People

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  27. So touching Jaish. Shook me to the core

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  28. Awesome! We miss out on the beauty of life in midst of this fast paced world!

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  29. I have been missing in action on your blog for a while, very sorry for that Jaish. Reading this post made me realize what I was missing since the past few days. Very well narrated again. :)

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    1. :) No worries Akshay. Thanks for stepping in and thanks for that lovely comment

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  30. Nice touching narrative. I have often see this in the roads. People who like they themselves do not have enough to eat sharing their food with stray dogs.

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    1. Thanks TF. Yes, even I have seen this often on the roads in India.

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  31. loved the way u made even the inanimate things jump to life! and yea, sharing even when u have next to nothing, needs a really big heart...inspite of the sadness, it brought me a smile..

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    1. Thankyou princess :) there is a joy in sharing that nothing can equate !

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  32. in this age when every human(so called) is busy snatching their food from other's mouth, its good to see this couple who is little different from most of us......beautiful, really.....!!

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    1. I agree Irfanuddin. Every human is definitely snatching food from others mouth today!

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  33. I liked your way of narration and how you brought the characters to life. Very short and sweet !

    - Ash

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  34. A story that really touched my heart :(.

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  35. At times its good to read such meaningful stories. Nothing like bringing one to reality.

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    1. I agree Haddock. Thanks for stepping in.

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  36. Wow! it's really cute portray of a family where everyone is counted :)

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    1. Thank you for stepping in Gayatri :)

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  37. That's a nice one!! Gripping till the end and very heart warming too! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and for the comments Shilpa :D

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  38. perfectly written jaish .. Really enjoyed it !!
    Way2express~

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  39. To tell the truth I feel this is the story of many a household , that what glitters is not always gold, we see the rich merry making and all but what happens in the house behind closed doors I a sure is almost same as what happens in normal households ..


    I may be wrong but this is what i have experienced in life

    Bikram's

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    1. Hi Bikram, Thanks for the comment. When you say this is what happens in most households, what exactly are you referring to? You mean, people having lesser than what they need? or the sharing ? Me missing the exact point...! Guess my brain is a little incorrectly tuned today :)

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  40. Lovely narration .. I really liked the descriptions and expressions ..
    You are a very good story writer!

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  41. What a moving story this is! The way you described the poverty and how it pinches people was really very moving. You brought out the pain, the angst, the hope and the momentary happiness all so very well. And in all their sadness and pain, you brought out the nobility of their hearts to still care and feed for their loving dog. A brilliant narrative and a touching story. Brought tears to my eyes.

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