She ran fast— under the scorching heat, with an aluminium plate sanctified of distortion, to avail the food that the refuge offered. Her tender toes burned. Five years of her life on this planet bestowed upon her the capabilities of bearing any extremity which a person stuck up within air conditioned walls all day will be terrible at. Terrible conditions of war had started showing its ugly side.
Her mom under the thatched roof, was lying almost lifeless, diseased and starving. Her mom’s everyday routine of availing food this way and feeding her first during the war times was nothing new. She managed to find the way amidst the anaemic mob to get a spatula of poorly cooked rice and a spoonful of stale vegetable.
That was a feast for her eyes and belly.
On her way back, the tiny soul didn’t raise a query of why she had to get the food today; circumstances had turned everyone flexible to any situation. Guises of people around spoke of the brutal times they were going through, that is how visuals have been for her since her birth being all these absolutely normal.
Her innocent eyes gleamed of glee when she neared her mom with the food. In the absolute silence, she kept the plate close to her mom trying hard not to disturb her and knelt down. “Mom, we’ll eat. It’s my favourite vegetable today” she said in her silent squeaky voice. Her mom couldn’t respond actively but managed to sit and her pale sulky eyes were filled with tears. After sharing the food that’s available, she laid down. The five-year old, with bruised tiny fingers, wrapped her mom around her neck and rested beside on the dusty rough floor, ignoring her still grumbling belly. Little did she know— death had already approached her mom that moment; she’s with a mass of flesh that doesn’t love her back anymore.
Munna, her friend came in yelling after a few minutes, “I found our horse toy that we had lost.”
She turned reflexively and whispered, “Shhh.. My mom is asleep.”