7 Days, 7 Tales
Written by Annwesha Ghosh
With teary eyes I wake up and look at the shattered mirror, my bruised lips and hands
Draping the blemishes, I open the door for the house help
Telling her to clean the glass pieces and giving her stupid excuses for why it broke
Laughing at my own made up jokes
She looks at me with a sense of pity in her eyes but still smiles.
I get ready to go to work at my sister’s place
Hoping I don’t see broken glasses again
Her bruised hands and laughter making a strange combination
I pick up my daughter’s hearing aid and place it properly on her ears
Telling her to be safe and listen to her grandmother.
I meet Janki on the way to the bus stop
Buying a battery for her daughter’s hearing aid with the limited money she had
Bidding her goodbye, I get into my bus
Sitting down, I open my phone’s gallery and see my baby boy’s photo
His beautiful smile made even the sun glow brighter.
Taking the same bus to office everyday
I felt as if my life was slipping away in this cycle
A race to reach somewhere far away
I smile a little seeing Shavita’s little boy on her big screen,
And listen to her tales of how crazy motherhood is
Everyday I go back to caffeine and loaded files
To escape from the empty tiffin box of mine
Once filled with roti and kachoris made by my beautiful wife
Still, I smile eating the cold food of the canteen
Remembering how angry she became when I sulked seeing a plate of food.
Picking up all the passengers in front of the office
I do as many rounds as I can
Hoping to earn good fares to buy the doll on the window of the shop near my house
After dropping the last passenger, I count the notes to find myself lucky enough.
Purchasing the doll, I go home and see my daughter running towards me
Handing her the doll, and seeing her eyes light up in happiness
My tiredness goes away in a blink of the eye
Carrying her on my arms, I get ready for another day
Ready to drive my auto through the roads of this big, lonely city.
Arranging all my certificates and checking my marksheets for maybe the 50th time,
I keep my file in my bag and wait for my mother’s curd;
They say you’re lucky to have that, and that is what I needed today.
Taking an auto from the front of my house
I smile on seeing a photo of a little girl and her doll tucked above the driver’s looking glass
Reminiscing the times when I had one too and debating that maybe that life was much easier
Than the uneasiness of giving interviews with a beating heart and sweaty hands.
I go to bed after putting ointment on my bruises, hoping to escape this shattered relationship
I go to bed putting my daughter’s hearing aid aside praying for a day when she can hear without them
I go to bed putting my boy to sleep, kissing his little hands and rubbing his forehead
I go to bed putting my wife’s photo on the pillow just beside me, hoping to open my eyes and see that beautiful face again
I go to bed looking at the calmness on my wife and daughter’s faces, praying that our happiness never goes away,
I go to bed setting my alarm and waiting for a call to make my dreams a reality.