Sunday, August 12, 2012

Some Stories Must be Told.

I remember a heavily pregnant woman, very young, in her twenties, sallow skinned, dark circles around her eyes, and a huge belly. She was driving a moped, her belly almost touching the handlebar.  As she drove, she seemed to create around her a small but distinct circle of emptiness, as the vehicles which came abreast of her instinctively moved away to give her space.  She seemed unaware of it, her face fiercely concentrated, as she drove slowly trying to avoid the bumps and potholes.  At the traffic signal, she stopped . 

A traffic cop standing at the corner approached her and said kindly, “You shouldn’t be driving in your condition. It’s dangerous.”  She nodded and smiled but didn’t speak.

Everyone who saw her told her to take it easy.  “Take an auto, take time off work, get some help,” they advised. 
But her husband said, “We can’t afford it.”

She had a gynaec visit that evening after work. The doctor was a long way from  the office.  And then she would have to pick up her 5-year-old from the crèche, after which would be the even longer drive back home. She knew the 22- km drive back would exhaust her and she had asked her husband to drive her.  

He had pleaded work.  He was jobless at the moment. But perhaps he was going to be out looking for a job.   She didn’t want to argue with him.  He would simply lose his temper and make that an excuse to get drunk. Sodden drunk.

 So she thought, as she drove to the office.  And also as she worked a whole 7-hour day, went to the doctor, picked up her child, drove home, cooked a meal, fed the child and herself and her husband.

 Even a stranger, looking at that girl, knew at once that she was unloved and uncared for.  The only person who didn’t know it, was she herself.

But look on the brighter side. She didn’t know that her husband at that time, was in the throes of an affair with a 12-year–old. 

I think of  her sometimes.  I didn't feel sorry for her then. I had no time. It hurts though, when I remember her now, although thankfully, only sometimes... 

1 comment:

AlieKhamenei said...

It is painful to observe and not be able to help. I have seen many tragedies and wonder if I had intervened whether I would have stumbled into death or success.