Summer Haven

Atalant Nadkar

The soothing touch of the
Cold floor on his bare skin;
The knots in his limbs uncoiled,
A calming sensation ran
Through his aching back.
The sultry Indian summer felt
As if the coolest day of spring.
His body numb, his belly full,
He could finally rest.
He was finally home -
Not in the factory furnace
Covered in sweat and soot,
Not in the paddy fields
Under the harsh, blistering sun,
Not in the dark sewers
Buried knee-deep in shit,
Not on the soulless afternoon streets
With kilos of bricks on his head.

He lay there eyes closed,
Under the cracked mud ceiling
That would soon be dripping rain.
The thunderous roar of a passing train,
The blazing siren of the police patrol,
The dying mother's raspy groan,
The hungry, wailing baby,
The worried wife's muffled sobs,
The resident rat rattling empty vessels
Scavenging for scraps in vain,
The silence of his inert idols
Propped carefully on the windowsill -
Nothing seemed to bother him.
He could finally rest,
He was finally home.


This work has been published in Beetle Magazine's June 2020 Issue. Read the full issue here:

Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar


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