‘Ouch!’ a newcomer’s histrionics disturbed my slumber. ‘Why did you scream?’ I was in no mood to welcome this visitor with a song. The regulars were chit-chatting, unbothered by the intrusion. But then I’m the owner, and it’s my prerogative to question.
‘Oh, why so rude, Big B?’ The feeble voice whimpered.
‘Wow, that’s impressive!’
‘Oh, I’m used to global guests. Indian, French, Arabic, and even Chinese! One whiff and I know all about them,’ I boasted.
‘Hmm, must be nice; entertaining and all.’
‘It was fun initially, when I was new and shiny. But now, I’m overstuffed, greasy, and malodorous with so much food! Anyway, enough about me. Why’re you sad, Signora Margherita?’
‘Today’s the worst day of my life.’
‘For one, look where I am!’ she muttered.
Whoa! She’s got some sass!
She continued, ‘And also because it’s my birthday… I had never imagined it to end this way. A while ago I was at the beach. Oh, so beautiful; mellifluous waves, catchy music, innocent laughter of children!’
‘Then, what happened?’
‘Some bratty kid flung me in this stinky bin, can you believe that?! What did I ever do to him? See, I’m still hot, soft, and cheesy.’
‘Hmm, happens all the while. Don’t take it so hard on yourself. It’s not your fault.’
‘No, you are mistaking me. I’m not sad about being dumped. But…’
‘But what? Tell me, you will feel better.’
‘So many firsts happened today… my birth, then a thrilling ride in a red scooter.’
‘Oh, lucky you! I have travelled nowhere. I just get a lift every day, and then I crash onto the same spot-’
‘Anyway,’ she interrupted me, rambling on, ‘I was having a wonderful time on the beach. Then, this kid took me in his hand and started waving me in the air. That’s when I saw more children… but they looked different from this kid. They wore tattered clothes, with messy hair and no footwear. Their eyes sparkled when they looked at me.’
‘Yes, I know those kids. I see them here often. It’s sad, really sad. Ironic, isn’t it? The ones who have it all, don’t value it; those who have nothing, crave for it. Look at me going philosophical!’
The impatient flatbread cut me off before I could share my wisdom. ‘I wish that insolent kid had just given me to the other children. All I wanted was to be loved.’
She was about to say something, but a sudden whirlpool shocked her. ‘W-what’s happening, Big B?’
‘Relax, your wish is coming true. See who’s come for you.’
She shrieked with joy, ‘It’s them! Yay! My wish is coming true. I found true love. Addio* Big B, thanks for your patience.’
I am glad she found her happy ending. With the Italian guest gone, I could rest awhile until the next one plopped in.
Addio – Goodbye in Italian. When you say an “Addio” you are pretty sure you will not see this person ever again
Over 11 million children are estimated to be living on the street in India, and often they are found lurking behind garbage bins hunting for food or begging in the streets to feed themselves. A sight we see every other day, and yet most of us turn a blind eye to it, and return to our ‘fulfilling lives’
Connect with Penmancy:
Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!