The Girl and the Fruit Seller

I saw a little girl with tattered clothes and bare feet carrying a 10 rupees note and standing next to a fruit stall asking the seller to give her a sweet melon.

“It costs 20 rupees” replied the seller.

The girl pleaded him to give her the melon with the money she had but the seller bluntly refused. Agitated by his behavior, I entered the scene and asked him to give her whatever she wanted to which the girl hesitantly pointed towards the melon again.

“Give her this”, I ordered pulling out a 20 rupees note from my purse.

“It is for 30 rupees,” remarked the fruit seller.

“A while ago you were selling it for 20 rupees”, I retorted

“Yes, that is only for this girl. For you, it is 30 rupees.” he answered.

I looked at the little girl’s face and held myself back, handed over 30 rupees to that seller looking straight into his eyes trying to smash him without words. He turned his face away. I waved a good-bye to the girl and she smiled.

Next day at the same time, I saw the same fruit seller with his stall across the street. At about 20 steps from where he stood was another lady selling fruits with several buyers around her as the man sat ideal watching the scene.

The first thought that occurred to me was ‘Karma’. But eventually thinking about it again, I realized that who am I to think of Karma and judge someone. Maybe he himself wasn’t making enough for a living and sought a sort of compensation from me the other day. Who knows? God knows better.

― Nazneen Kachwala

2nd June 2019

In Search of a Place Called Home

It is iftaar time. Men decked in pearl white kurtas with traditional golden caps and women ladened with ornaments and crisp dresses, all wearing some itr probably from the land of Arabs are hurrying towards the mosque to answer the call for prayer.

At the doorsteps of His home, I see a lady in late sixties stretching a tattered dupatta with both her arms and resting her head at the hinge of the gate, aimless looking into nowhere with a still freckled face. There’s also a wrecked man in his seventies hopefully gazing at every face, a child who can barely walk and young girl with a husband to please.

God’s house is full of worshipers, and at the backdrop of the ‘pious’ preaching, there is a constant surge of chattering not matching with my chord. Men and women are restlessly waiting for the Azan to fill in their empty pits with butter chicken and kebabs while the little child outside cries for some milk as his young mother cannot lactate.

I am sure the God I know has vacated the place long ago and is in search of a place called home to spare Himself of being suffocated.