Picking up her spade, she eyeballs left to right in a ruse of privacy, and shoves it with might into the moist and welling bund. The Kaveri bleeds silently and brown into her dried puddle of a yard. She cups a few handfuls to her face, dunks her two unkempt children in. They squeal and splash about.
|Image courtesy: Flickr https://flic.kr/p/8hmBga|
Growing up along the border was often a confusion of this’s and that’s or this’s or that’s. You took the bus far north and you aren’t a Kannadiga any more. Or you slather your face yellow with turmeric and vermilion and traipse too south into Kongu Naadu and you’re no longer a Tamil. You either picked a side, or settle in the middle – a strange limbo of cultures in a disarray of border politics, not-my-job’s, and associated freedoms.
As a little girl, she often wondered how maps worked – did a cartographer really walk the courses, and dig his drafting pen deep into the soil with an invisible ink? How did he cross the rivers and seas?
Did the water taste better on the other side of the bund?
Her youngest smiles evil, as a warm gush of urine makes its way up the little pond, now large enough for her little plot of tomatoes and spinach. She tugs at his right ear.