Lockdown Scribble: the return to village…the reverse migration. (This image is from Indian Express newspaper)
Mayuri twirled. The sequins on her frock shimmering in the afternoon sun, matching the colours in her glass bangles, her multicoloured worn out sandals. The dress was a birthday gift from Aunty in whose house her mother worked part time. A hand-me-down.
She remembers….it was her fifth birthday and she had wanted a cake and a new dress, like Aunty’s daughter. Her mother promised and she waited all day for the surprise. It never came. There was announcement of instant Lockdown and her parents got busy with storing ration. Rest was a blur drowned in tears.
Strains of her favourite film song from a distance. Her steps faltered. The pebbles scorching the thin soles of her sandals. Her water bottle empty.
I don’t want to go to the village. I want to stay in Delhi. Her mother slapped her.
‘MAYURI’. Her father. All sweat and grime.
‘Coming, let me drink water from the river’.
A thud and shriek….the water was black…concrete.