I understand how scissors can beat paper, and I get how rock can beat scissors, but there’s no fucking way paper can beat rock. Is paper supposed to magically wrap around rock and leave it immobile? Why the hell can’t paper do this to scissors? Screw scissors, why can’t paper do this with people? Why aren’t sheets of college ruled notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they take notes in class? I’ll tell you why, because paper can’t beat anybody. When I play rock paper scissors, I always choose rock. Then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper I can punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say, oh shit, I’m sorry, I thought paper would protect you, you asshole! - Anonymous.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

ladybirds can't fly

Year 2006.

The windows were tightly shut, curtains drawn, heater on and I was snuggled up in bed with the lilac blanket tightly wrapped around me. It was the peak point of winters when everything is freezing and schools are closed. The only time when most of us want to live forever in the warm blankets, sleep like a baby and not work. At all.

Later in the day, I was told (ordered) to leave my cozy room, forget my sleep and drag myself in the shower. No matter how warm the water is, the moment you step out, it is very very very very cold. Sigh, how I despised lunch that particular day. It stole my gentle sleep.

That same week, we had a new maid employed to help my mother with the daily chores and dough the flour. Today, the maid was ill and so on her behalf her daughter, a mere fourteen year old girl was in the kitchen helping my mother. She cooked, served us, washed the utensils, dried the clothes; all the time wearing a frail white sweater and a tattered jeans. No socks. No muffler.

There I was on the dining table staring at her while she removed the unclean plates and glasses. I did stare too long because she noticed and looked uneasily at me asking if she'd done something wrong. How naive. I asked her about her school and the fact that she wasn't wearing anything more warmer to protect herself.

Then we were the only two occupants in the room. She had a story. I had time.

She told me how their family was embezzled in the village; how her father had to move to the city to look for a job; how her mother also followed him here; how she had to leave her home and come along with her parents to live in a city that from her eyes was a dump. How she missed her friends, school, trees and open land where one could sleep outside with the starry sky as a roof. And how she just did not feel cold. Not at all.

I sat there speechless. She went back to her work. I had to go back to my planned sleep in the cozy bed.

Same age. Same grade. Yet, different lives.

A month later, the maid's daughter was married off. We got to know about it a fortnight later. Mother was furious, which was obvious. She had been delighted when that little girl had asked for spare notebooks to practice her school work on. Mother had pestered the maid to make sure the girl studies further.

But no. Things fell apart. The maid's daughter had aspirations, the dream to fly high in life. She wanted to be a teacher. Wanted to give free tuitions in spare time to the unprivileged children.

She was a ladybird. Gentle and sweet, courageous enough to face the green world with it's thorns.

Unfortunately, just like the other ladybirds, she could not fly.

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