My eyes open to the sound of our neighbour’s rooster crowing. I have often wished that a stray cat may eat him for his next meal but so far fate seems to be siding with the rooster. I slowly get up from my makeshift bed that is made of woven ropes hanging onto a wooden frame. I cannot be late for school once more or my teacher may be good on her promise of keeping latecomers after school for half an hour. I lug my heavy school bag onto my shoulders and head down a muddy road to my school.
On my way I am joined by other girls who are headed in the same direction. Along the way we come across a few lush green mulberry trees. Hiding among leaves we can spot juicy mauve mulberries just waiting to be picked. It is unanimously decided that after school we will stop to pick a few. We reach school just as the gong is sounded indicating that class will begin in five minutes. However, much to our dismay a power outage prevails. Our teacher leads us outside to sit in the shade of a tree where the class will be resumed as usual.
After school I decide to head straight home instead of stopping to pick mulberries. The scorching weather has forced buffaloes to bathe in swamps, while they lie contentedly. I hurry home eager to quench my parched mouth with homemade lemonade. I find my mother at the whirring sewing machine, making clothes for our neighbours. She promises that she will teach me how to stitch as soon as my summer holidays begin. I cannot wait to learn. It seems less tedious than school work anyhow.
Later in the afternoon, I head to the rooftop where I feed the pigeons. They happily make cooing sounds as I scatter bird seed. From the roof, I can make out our neighbor taking off clothes from her clothesline. I wave to her and she smiles back. I know she will be coming over to our house in the evening for tea and her weekly gossip session. In the distance, I can see a hefty train puffing billows of gray smoke in the air. It is taking passengers to the city. I wonder how life is in the city.