Muniamma’s Day Out

She chews betel leaf,
her mouth turns red
spits the juice on the road,
Muniamma is ready for her day out.

She spins a cloth like a ring
places it on her head
over the ring, she puts the basket
walks with an unexplained ease.

She calls aloud ” bananas, bananas,”
the women folk come out of their house
lest they miss her. She waits
and wastes not an instant.

The fruits are home grown
organic in all considerations,
from the sapling to the fruit
remarkable for their sweetness.

She works the rate. Does not give
a deduction. Before noon
she sells the entire consignment.
Rests under the neem tree.

She demands no favours from her buyers.
Drinks and eats what she brings from home
Lies for a while. Catches the midday bus.
She returns home.

She grows spinach, tomatoes,
eggplants and spinach. Waters them
Talks to them. Levels the beds.
Sprinkles ash over them to ward off pests.

Sheis carrying out this for a decade.
Her sons work in the city.She does not intercept..
She toils for her bread and board
It is a life of honour.

Her contribution to the environment
though not appreciated is exceptional.
She preserves the soil with fertilisers.
Lives in peace in her tiled cottage.

Muniamma goes unsung and unhonoured.
She is not wealthy. She serves the society.
It is her way. I wish to sing her praise.
I am another like her -unknown.