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The Chosen Womb

Aiswarya Subramanian

With one hand on the old rusted railing and the other caught in the depths of my
tangled bushy hair, my eyes travel down the panoramic view of my street.
If my opinion is of any value, you can trust me when I say that this is the liveliest
market you will ever encounter.
But you could chuckle and remark that my legs haven’t ventured beyond these
alleys.
At this point, I have no option but to nod my head and concur.
But my neck won’t bend down in shame because my legs never wanted to venture
out.
In these lanes, you will find life as raw as it is.
You will see a mother taking the luscious mouthwatering sweets from the fuming
stove, the oil dripping from her spatula, her eyebrows curving in concentration.
Beside her, sits her toddler, legs wide apart, digging the mud with his puny hands.
He stuffs the mud into his mouth with a sense of immense gratification.
If I tilt my head and look at the other side, I see an old uncle desperately swatting
away the flies trying to consume his tomatoes, while his mouth grinds the betel
leaves as it has for years.
One may prefer a more ‘hygienic’ or ‘sophisticated’ place.
But to find people who have the genuine urge to serve true and well is impossible to
find elsewhere.
May be that is why, hundreds swarm into this market despite the crudeness that it
doesn’t care to hide.
Yet, there is a part of this popular bazaar which is deserted at this time of the day.
The alley is generally inky even during the day which makes me think that even the
sun is ashamed of it.
‘Gentlemen’ never set foot on this street and the ‘ones who claim to be’ don’t dare
set foot afraid that the small ray of light that penetrates the dark street might
expose their face.
But today, I see a brave shadow lurking into the street, quiet as a mouse.
I snap out of my muse and walk into my bedroom where withered roses lay on the
bed.
I grab the alluring perfume and apply it on parts of my body that a man seeks and
enjoys.
I wear the freshly sewn jasmine flowers around my bushy uncontrollable hair.
When I finally see the eyes of the man I am bound to serve, I see the hunger and I
realize why this body couldn’t have waited for the sun to set.
Within a few seconds, the jasmine flowers are on the floor.
While the man was busy devouring me, my eyes drift to the window of my room.
The bars of the window aren’t the only thing that makes me feel caged.
Suddenly, my eyes get dilated and I break into a sweat, not because of what is
happening inside my room, but because of what my eyes saw outside.
I see the man who fathered my daughter walking down the street, after so many
years.
His hand firmly holds a tiny arm- soft and delicate.
While the little one was holding on to its father with one hand, its other hand was
struggling to hold a toy too magnanimous for her size.
As they walk down the street, they stop at my daughter’s shop.
Is this a coincidence or has he seen that eyes somewhere a long time ago?
He looks at our girl with a sense of detachment and disinterest and I realized this is
not a coincidence, but my terrible fate to witness it.
As he commands our girl with his stern instructions, his hand never leaves his
precious daughter.
When the vegetables were packed neatly and handed over, I see his face change to
an angry frown.
While my child was desperately trying to earn what she deserved, the man capable
of buying was bargaining over an already under-priced product.
I wondered if he would have done the same for the over-sized toy his child clung on
to.
Is it because he bought the toy from an ‘eloquent’ place?
I force my attention back to the street to realize that he is long gone and my child
sits there defeated.
It is rather strange when we think about luck and how it plays with our life.
The same seed in one womb created a child who will be pampered for life while in
another womb created a child who will struggle for a lifetime.
I realize how unlucky my innocent child is and shame sends a shiver down my spine.
The man inside of me gives a satisfied smile.
I let him have the sense of triumph.
Then I close my eyes and weep.


5 comments

  • Awesome Aishwarya. Sensitive and so evocative.

    Kumari Menon
  • Excellent!!! Aishwarya…Keep going… best wishes for more to come…stay blessed..

    Rekha Nandakumar
  • Awesome, well written Aishu keep them coming.

    apud extraneum
  • Best wishes to become the proud owner of a creative mind dear Aishu….from Athai

    Well written . Good work
  • Excellent

    Swathi

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