Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Wailing - I

She hears the wailing of a child coming from the recesses of the window by her desk at work. The ceaseless crying of the child makes her nervous. It was something she had not experienced before, ever. The day was hot, sweat dripped from her forhead. She reaches for the napkin, then she hears it again. It is an infant, too young to tell if it is a girl or a boy. She swabs her forhead, throws the napkin in the red dustbin below her desk. She tries hard to concentrate on her work. The dealines are approaching, so many peer reviews, so much work left.

The coffee she just got sits there on the desk steaming in a crippled cup. A cup that has folds and creases. Not for long will it stay steaming. The day passes with the sundry events of her job. Meetings, reading innumerable pages of documents, typing lots. In no time, the lunch hour emerges from the glow of her monitor and her computer clock jolts her out of her reverie. The walk to the canteen is uneventful. Her visits to the canteen always rung in one nauseating thought. The time she used to eat the canteen food. A period of disgusting health problems plagued her for months. Now she got food from home. She is close to tears today. Doesn't know why.

She takes a plate from the stand goes to her favourite table just beside the canteen window overlooking the lake. She settles down and is happy she no longer eats the canteen food. The tasty home made food looks and is indeed mouthwatering. Eating by her window was one of the things she liked about her day. The cool breeze from the lake and the taste of spice on her tongue was unbeatable. The breeze is warm today. Halfway through her lunch, she gets a call from her husband enquiring how her day has been. Very well she replies and resumes her lunch. Then, she hears it again. The wailing. Incessant. The unforgiving cry of an infant bitten by pangs of hunger. The food no longer appeals to her. She looks around the canteen, everybody is eating, chatting, going out, coming in. None seem to be bothered about the wailing child. She must be the only one hearing it. She does sit beside the window. Her apetite is diminished. She packs her box and leaves.
Post a Comment