The Ebb And Flow of Fate

painting by Jofelyn M. Khapra


” I remember I used to be a young girl once ” cried an old woman sitting on the street a begging bowl near her feet.  ” With shiny hair cascading down my back and life radiating from my supple skin. My springy steps led  me down the beach each waking day. Soaking under the sparkling sun I danced my cares away. I doodled my hopes and dreams on pristine sands and they were grand! The horizon was bright and clear  so were my youthful days.  ”


” But father died and then my future did not stand a chance. Away from the sea, I was married off to a bastard of a man who drinks from sunrise till dawn. The demon drunk and drunk until his liver fell out but not before he left me with a dozen mouth to feed.  Gloom rained down unceasingly. Two of my children had died from malnutrition.Three of my sons are in prison. The rest of them I don’t know where they have gone. My only daughter, too young but working as a servant. Her fate as doomed as mine. Without a dowry, for her I can never find a decent mate.”

” Now look at me wrinkled and grey before my time. Angry waves have long washed my dreams away. ”

” Please  young lady can you not spare this poor old woman a rupee?”

26 thoughts on “The Ebb And Flow of Fate

    1. This story was inspired,aside from the old woman in the painting, by a young girl I met in the park. A nanny, not more than 12 years old I think. She was very fond of my dog. There was a hint of loneliness in her bright smile. I wondered what her life is like. I know very little Hindi, we could not really speak to each other much. Only smiles, gestures and nodding.

  1. In only a few short paragraphs you really convey her heartbreak and I feel such sympathy for this woman. Thank you for following my poetry blog, Jofelyn. I’m pleased that you enjoy my work ! You are very talented and seem like a very sweet girl. You invoke such beautiful imagery in short, creative bursts. I haven’t read all your posts yet, but if you have not written any poetry yourself, you should try it. I think you could be an amazing poet, as well as a great storyteller. Thanks again and I’m happy to have a new friend, Jofelyn. :)….. Jeff Littrell

    1. I adore poets, I love poetry but I think I am lacking rhythm in that area. I love the feeling that you evoke in your poem ” like horses” the freedom. I will be browsing through your archives every now and then. Thank you for all the nice things you said. 🙂 The saddest thing about the story of this woman is that her story is so common, they have a system here that makes it impossible for women of her status to succeed. It’s a vicious cycle really.

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