A balloon seller now she is
Her name does not matter
Married for she was considered a burden
By her very own parents.
A poor girl from the city of Rajasthan India
Surviving, living by and around
Cafes in the city of Pune
Just 19 solar cycles old
Her malnourished body has no signs of youth
She works all day selling balloons in hope
For one square meal to come her way
Often she says she eats only once in the day
If she is lucky she gets a bite-sized meal.
She wanders around till late evening
and sells her wares outside the hip street cafes
Often times to children and some for grown-ups too
My daughter is all of 19 too
Was visiting the cafe with friends
She chanced upon her last evening.
Begging her to buy some balloons
She took a bit of time and listened to her woes
She was deeply moved and she fed her dinner
In return, she was gifted a balloon from the heart
And this story above is the truth of this balloon seller’s
Life and existence
That she heard first hand and narrated to me last night
I reflect on how she said…
‘The balloon seller is stoic and yet hopeful’
Her life is a tragic story and pitiful
An account of a woman’s day!
Another day dawns …
They call it Woman’s Day!
The woman labours on
With the same fervour and faith
Like every other day
It makes no difference to such countless women really
If there is a day marked in her favour
Using her name politics is played
Institutions have events and clubs have parties
Felicitating and celebrating in the name of womanhood
When will lives of every female child truly change
As a mother or the daughter or the sister
Maybe there is a recognition and sweet words
from your family and friends for a day or so …
Her life is a mere existence in making through each day and night…
What a day like this going to matter to her.
Really not much.
She is out in the open vulnerable and bare.
Bounded by duty imposed without a right
Carried on in the throes of life and living.
Praying a day will dawn when every life matters.
Where every child is born and raised with love
For the future of this world belongs to them.