Fiction, India, Sibling love, Writing Prompts

Fragile lives #BarAThon

As the car skidded to a halt at the red light, Amit cursed the little boy who was trying to sell books to the restless people in the vehicles lined up. Had he not barged in in front of his car he would’ve made it through while the yellow light was still on. Now he had to spend a precious three minutes behind the wheel, sitting and fuming!

Kavita observed Amit’s anxiety but kept mum. This wasn’t the time for squabbling with him. Like their marriage, this day too seemed like it was hung on a tiny string. If this deal didn’t get through they could stand losing their jobs, and with it their lifestyle privileges.

Her eyes were fixed on the little boy who seemed somewhere between ten to twelve years old. His clothes were worn, but tidy. He swayed back and forth in the scorching sun from one vehicle to another, showing the books and repeating their prices to everyone, without the slightest irritation.

Many people called for him, glanced through them to while away time and then returned them to him with a cursory shrug and sometimes not even that. Possibly used to it, he didn’t seem offended by this in the least and headed to his next prospective customer.

While the blinking indicator informed them of the remaining 60 seconds, she noticed the boy scurry through the narrow gaps between the vehicles towards the footpath on the other side of the road. There, sitting alone under a tree was a little girl not more than three years old, playing with a doll, alone.

While their car slowly picked up speed, Kavita’s gaze was still set on the two children. The girl’s face beamed at his sight. As he ran up to her smiling and delicately picked her up, she warmly cuddled up with him.

Kavita felt a lump in her throat. ‘These children have such fragile lives. Yet they have each other and seem so much happier. In our case I cannot decide what’s colder, this air-conditioned car or our relation. Whose lives are fragile now?’ She speculated.

This post has been written for Day 3 of the 7 day blogging challenge BAR-A-THON.

Today’s prompt is ‘Fragile lives’.


16 thoughts on “Fragile lives #BarAThon

  1. We all know the scene at the junctions while we wait for the traffic light to turn green. The last lines make a lot of sense. Many are happier with nothing materialistic while for many, all the material comforts do not serve the purpose because the relationships turn hollow.

    1. We assume so many things. We pity them, feel bad for them. But their life is a mystery to us, just like ours is to them. They can be happier than us and love each other too right?

  2. So true… in their struggle the kids have somehow found happiness… but those who are better off are fighting their own demons.

    1. Happiness is more about finding peace within us and our situations. All the money in the world cannot make anyone happy like a simple smile can.
      Thanks for stopping by Rajlakshmi. ☺

  3. Oh I loved the contrast there. But most of all I loved that bond between the brother and sister that came through in such few words. Beautifully written Varsh. The plight of children on the roads touches me immensely. How we coddle our kids at home and yet face so many tantrums and mood swings and there are these street kids struggling to simply keep alive. It’s a sad existence, even though they might not see it as that.

    1. Siblings are siblings right? Their love and affection isn’t dependant on anything. When I see these innocent children on the road who’re forced to beg or sell stuff I try and show my son the hard life they have and make him understand how fortunate he is to have a comfortable home, good food and the love of his parents.
      We undermine them I think. They can be happy too. Thank you so much for the comment! What do I call you by the way? ☺

  4. The children issues have always been close to my heart as i believe that each single child irrespective of social strata he/she belongs to should have a happy and healthy childhood. That we have failed in ensuring that is the biggest failure…The story was touching.

    1. How right you are! I have immense respect for NGOs that work towards helping these children get a better life. Every child deserves good education and a home.
      Thanks Parijat. ☺

    1. These little instances can be eye-openers for us and teach us important life lessons. This might be fiction, but I guess such things happen for real too.
      Thanks for the comment Saumy. ☺

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