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Yellow Rags and Vaccum Cleaners by Gayatri Makhijani © (Word Count 365)

In Short Story on November 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm

A yellow rag sits upon the window sill of the white, brown kitchen. Asha hurriedly picks it up, and mops the counter clean. And, upon it she chops freshly rinsed beans, little brown onions, yellowed peppers and orange-brown carrot sticks. Asha bustles through the kitchen, clambering pots and pans, currying potatoes, and swirling spoons. In her pink saree, mellowed with time, Asha paints a haggard picture. But, if you look closely, you’ll see a shimmer in her eye.
You see, Asha comes dancing up to work. It isn’t an easy life, this one. And, nobody quite knows it just as well as Asha does. She has little children to teach, and a husband to cook for. Most of all, a mundane job to keep. But, Asha runs through the motions in sing-song harmony.

We usually catch up on some neighborhood gossip, Asha and me. Over a cuppa chai, and good day biscuits. In Asha’s seemingly habitual existence, spring up many little tales. There’s always a story of some woman, some husband, and some little things her children did right. And then, there are stories from before she got married. Of dowries, of her parents, of the school she never went to. Like always, today too, she has a story to share.

You see, Asha went to Mega Mall yesterday. It’s a splendid, not-so-little, steel and glass structure off Oshiwara. And, Asha boldly got on the escalator she was much too afraid of, and inquisitively checked out the stores. She even picked her month’s ration, including a bottle of coffee in memory of every time, I used to make her a steaming hot cup. As I heard her story, I began to think of change. And, how quickly it was coming.

There are yellow rags, and brown brushes, and potholed roads. And, there’s a swirl of change enveloping it all…and the shiny red automated bicycles, and vaccuum  cleaners encased in glass aren’t so out of reach anymore. Mind you, it isn’t just about time and money. It’s about big steps by the seemingly small. A flurry, a ruffle in the lives of the mundane. A brave, new direction hurrying ’em all.

Ah, who would’ve thought.

About Gayatri: I enjoy writing for business and pleasure.

Gayatri’s Website/Blog: I’m on purple

  1. It’s a great slice-of-life piece, Gayatri. The winds of change blow unevenly over the planet, some are early adapters, others get swept up in a tidal wave. There are a few who cannot adapt. Older people have a difficult time, as do those in rural areas, the poor, the uneducated. Shiny, time saving, fun products are good ways to help people adapt, there is less resistance, an easier way to embrace change. Change is frightening but can be exhilarating.

  2. Hi Gayatri!

    Enjoyed discovering your longer writing here. I could picture every moment in this story — the scene, the colors, the scents, the conversation, the events. I love how you looked at mega developments intimately through the eyes of one person. Changes affect real people, every day, every moment. Look forward to reading more from you.


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