THE OLD VEGETABLE SELLER..
Nowadays, she is a rarely seen village sight
this old lady who sells vegetables door to door,
who merrily greets and calls out to her customers
about the day’s finest and freshest produces,
while wiping her brow and unloading from her head
the vegetable basket at the porch of all houses.
Her faded clothes portray vividly the sad tale
of poverty which overshadows her life,
while a pair of well worn and muddy slippers
barely shield her feet from sharp stones,
yet in her shrewd eyes she carries a fire of confidence
that she had amassed for survival from experience.
To everyone, she has become a permanent fixture
her visits an unavoidable snippet of their routines,
and housewives surround her with hands on their hips
to scrutinize her basket’s content and their prices,
while sharing with her trivial woes of family life
and listening to creamy dollops of neighborhood gossips.
With an unbreachable armor of ironclad willpower
she defies the unrelenting summer heat,
and with a battered age worn umbrella she battles
monsoon’s varied mood swings,
as she walks diligently through her life’s rocky roads,
her agonies concealed under a toothless smile.
Everytime I see her, I feel so humbled
by witnessing this testament of a woman’s strength,
who chose not to bow down to fate’s cruel ploys
and redrew by herself her palm lines,
as I inwardly salute this old vegetable seller
who balances artfully a life’s burden on her head.
© Anjana Vipin E