Saturday Features

Buying Death

- Samip Dhungel

Oct 7, 2017-

I remember how it was,

exactly the way it was.

The hut was beside the river

edged underneath a rock,

three walls thatched and a single wall stone

the stove was lit

the room was breathing smoke.

She would prepare dudh chiya for you,

tea leaves in lukewarm water, buffalo milk and a little sugar,

stirred until the colour appears,

shimmered until it saturates a little more.

“Rupiya  dass”—she said.

I could see earning ten rupee

was tearing her face with a smile,

that bent in four place.

First place, I’ll save it for quilt this winter

Second, I’ll save it for a new stove

Third, may be son needs new clothes

Fourth, I’ll keep it to boast I’m not broke.

But very soon,

her thoughts disappeared


This ten rupee cannot buy her clothes, quilt or stove

It can buy her beedi to smoke

And so she smokes!

It will buy her nothing but smoke,

a faster way to die—a slower way to choke

Buy her death—nothing more.

- Samip Dhungel 

Published: 07-10-2017 08:47

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