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April 2017, vol 13 no 1

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Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

Indian Summer

Sweat pouring from every pore, street after street I walk, barefoot. I see a thatched-roof hut a little further ahead. Closer now, an old woman.

While Granny goes to get a glass of water, I play with two kittens.

"Funny boy. Aren't you hungry? Have some food?"

"No, no. That's alright, Granny."

"Don't be shy. Come, sit."

awash with cow dung
the Gods smile on me
from the mud walls

In one corner, a high pot full of paddy; in another, a water pot; and near it, a row of tiny black ants running one behind the other. Seating me on a grass mat, Granny affectionately serves me rice and lentils in an aluminium plate. Eating that with the citron pickle steeped in salt...ah!

"You study in an English school?"

"Yes, Granny, sixth standard."

"That is why you eat so little. Too much studying has shrunken your tummy."

all washed up
but still clinging on –
a housefly