Sunday, 6 January 2019

The Bangle Stand

A cart of wooden items. Brightly coloured toys. A young man pushing his wares.
I have been looking for a wooden bangle stand. The one we have, full now, we bought long ago from a young tribal gir. Selling her wooden bangle stands and wooden rolling pins on the Chennai Delhi train near Bhopal.
I stopped asked the young man if he had bangle stands, and he smiled and dived into a huge sack and pulled out a bright pink set of rods tied together. He proudly informed me thrice that it was wood. He deftly put them together. I winced at the psychedelic pink, and asked if he has other colour s. He informed me that this was the best and most popular colour. And that this was what he kept.
He told me it was 300/-, and then smiled and said 200/-.
I took it. This best and most popular colour !
I handed 200/-, and he looked straight and suggested, "If you give another 20/- it will be nice.". I handed that over, and we both parted. Very happy.
And yet, I wonder how he lives. How those who make a living selling wooden toys on a cart live. And then I try to firmly push aside the thought. As I have to live.
And yet the stand on the shelf speaks. Of much more than the beautiful glass bangles from the village that it houses. It asks questions. Questions that question the foundations of my existence. My rights. Juxtaposed with the existence and rights of others.

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