Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Patchwork people

I couldn't help writing a second entry...the prompt was prompting me a bit too much....


Tina, a girl who was about ten, knocked on each door of the neighbourhood and sweetly asked for any scrap cloth
at the end of every month. Most of the time, she used to be shooed away
and told to come  later. She had an amazing memory and kept a good tab of
who said to come later. Unfortunately, when she did go later, she would be
asked to come later again or scolded for disturbing so often....However, Tina
never gave up.

Rita and her husband had just
shifted to the neighbourhood a few days ago. Rita was busy re-arranging the
furniture in their new house, when Tina rang the door bell for the first

Rita ran and was astonished to
find a tiny girl at the doorstep. She observed her very keenly and thought,
"this girl must be only about eight years old..what is she doing here and
not at school." 

Rita smiled and asked Tina who was shyly glancing at her, "Yes dear, how
can I help you?" 

After a small pause added with
some concern and sadness remembering that her husband had mentioned that he
will send someone to help her with the house, "Are you here to help

Tina smiled and said, "I
could help you but I also require some help from you. I would appreciate it if
you could me pass me any spare cloth that you have.."

Rita queried,"Spare clothing
for you to wear?"

Tina said, "No, any piece of
cloth that you do not have any use for..."

"Sorry dear, I have just
shifted and still need to sort out things to see if I have any I can give

Tina had taken a fancy to this
new lady. So she just frowned and said, "That's OK...How can I help you

"Oh no dear...I was looking
for an adult, I could not make you work." She quickly added, "Will
you not come in give me some company for tea?"

Tina nodded and willingly went
in. Rita led her to the kitchen, and poured some tea into a cup and served some
cream biscuits on a matching plate. When she turned, she found Tina sitting on
the floor and observing her from a corner of the kitchen. 

Rita laid the tray with tea and
biscuits on the table and told her to come to the table.

Tina replied, "No madam, I
shall sit here... people like me are not allowed to use the table."

Rita picked her up from the floor
and took her to the table.

Tina smiled. Rita asked her name,
age and why she wasn't in school while Tina drank tea and had the cream
biscuits for the first time from very expensive china that she was ashamed to

Tina told Rita about how her
grandmother, her only relative didn't have money to send her to school. She
added how it was her idea of helping in collecting cloth from houses and how
her granny wasn't very pleased with the idea for a very long time.

Rita asked her while caressing
her, "What does your grandmother do with all the scrap cloth?"

Tina looked up and smiled as she
spoke how her granny ingeniously patches up the scrap into nice thick blankets
or sheets of different sizes along with a few others who learnt the trade from
her. Then, more gravely Tina spoke of how she takes the sheets to a shop nearby
where the owner hardly pays anything.

Rita was astonished but just
asked, "Where do you all stay Tina?" 

Tina answered that they stay at
one end of the neighbourhood, near the river and are called the "Patchwork


  1. Super post Aparna. I am sorry for Tina. Hope her life situation improves with the help of kind hearted people like Rita. Plus, I am totally against child labor. She should be in school. My heart goes for her.

    Very interesting selection of title. In California, there is a theatre production company by the same name. After reading the title only, I thought you were going to write about this company.

    Just FYI. The entire population of USA (with the exception of American Indians) is made up of people immigrated from many countries, America is called “Patchwork Quilt”.

  2. Very nice post! I feel sorry for the little girl and her grandma too.

  3. @SG: thank you for your lovely comments and the information about America...

    @knot2share: Thank you....I completely agree it is a hard life that the little girl and her granny is leading...

  4. I love the detail behind this - especially the part about being ashamed to touch the China. Love it.

  5. You brought out tina's emotions and routine well with this one .. sad ...

  6. @bekindrewrite: thank you...

    @nimue: thank you...