Weekend Writing Warrior 1/10/16 #8Sunday


Rangoli at a Tamil Nadu ashram

Ever have one of those times where you plan to work on a project, but then you find yourself working on something else instead? Yeah, that’s me right now. In light of that, I think January’s Weekend Writing Warrior posts will be random excerpts from random stories, at least until my brain is able to focus on one project for an extended length of time.

Today’s excerpt comes from “Dust,” a short story I wrote while taking a class in southern India a couple years ago.

* * * * * * * * * *

Dust is everywhere; it blankets the streets and sidewalks, stray dogs and trash. Dust is disturbed by passing buses and motorbikes and rickshaws, mixing with their exhaust to form a perpetual haze throughout the city. Dust, along with the odors of garbage and spices and a million people crammed together, is inescapable.

Gheeta, a creature of the streets, has been surrounded by dust for so long she no longer notices it as it cakes her bare feet, decorates her sari and hair, and flavors whatever food she is lucky enough to obtain.

She hobbles along a street near a bazaar that attracts both tourists and locals. A tumor on the bridge of her nose has rendered her nearly blind, with just enough peripheral vision to avoid vehicles when she crosses the street. They wouldn’t intentionally hit her – too much bad karma – but to be safe she follows groups when she can, groups like the one approaching now, made up of Westerners. Perhaps they’ll be generous and give her many rupees, not knowing their value in her country.

“Feed Gheeta,” she keens as she approaches them, pantomiming scooping food to her mouth.

They continue walking.

* * * * * * * * * *

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  1. Hi ED. It’s sad. The things we take for granted…

    I have friend who lived in India for a couple of years. First, Mumbai, then Delhi. From the things she’s told me, you’ve perfectly described the Indian poor people.

    I noticed that your name isn’t on the linky list. That likely explains the lack of comments. I found your link on Twitter. :-)

    1. I had a busy week and forgot to sign up on the site. Thanks for finding me!

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