It was that time of the year when the markets were flooded with mangoes. The days got longer. Summers were meant for school holidays, roadside ice candies, kids playing around in the scorching heat. It was also the season of colorful and bright hairstyles, short dresses and lazy afternoons. I was on my pre-examination leave. So that was sort of my summer break.
Tired of my studying schedule, I had planned to meet one of my friends for lunch. The roads were pretty quiet with a few vehicles here and there. Waiting at the signal for even half a minute was unbearable in this ruthless weather. And I had to come across many such signals. It was at one of these signals, I saw her!
She was stooping. Her fragile body wouldn’t last long. Her hair had taken the color between black and white. Wrinkled face and collapsed cheeks, her hollow, grey eyes reflected suffering. Wearing a six yards, she walked barefeet with the sun overhead. She was selling those extra long ‘use and throw’ pens.
She tried going to every vehicle that stood there at the signal. Some didn’t bother to open their windows, while others just ignored by looking in the other direction. It was 42 seconds for the signal to go green. The woman walked towards me. I checked my pockets to see if I had any change. Nothing. My wallet was in the trunk of my moped. Worried if I would miss the signal, I failed to take it out. No, I couldn’t buy the pens. With a disheartened look, the woman went to the boy who was right next to me. He was on his bicycle. He looked no bigger than high school. He took out a ten rupee note and handed over to her. She gave 5 of those pens.
Her wide toothless smile was a slap on all those faces, who ignored her including me.
“Maybe atleast today she could love her zindagi”, I said to myself and left.