Series 4 Chandni Chowk Part 3 “We exist, though, don’t we?”

Published: April 10, 2016
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She disappears into the melee of the bus, tucking her margarine-esque hair under the collar of her very expensive, bright-pink sweater.

It is early morning when the two women, sighing heavily, shuffle their paperwork back into their proper files and exit the office. Mist envelops the city, and it is cold, but they pull their caps down over their ears and continue walking to the nearest bus stop. They do this while keeping up an incessant stream of chatter.

“It’s sad, isn’t it?” the first woman says.

She looks older than the other woman, taller, with crows’ feet around her eyes and wrinkles lining her cheeks.

“They didn’t send her to jail, but now she’s stuck in the old age home. I really don’t know what to make of it. Poor doll,” she adds, as an afterthought.

The second woman shrugs. She is the younger one of the two; she walks with quickness in her steps that the other woman lacks, and her eyes are bright and alert in the dreariness of a typical winter morning in Lahore.

“I think she deserved it. But it is sad, yes. What I don’t understand is why, why don’t they just do something about rape in marriage — those big shots in the parliament.”

“Shush,” the older woman chastises the younger one.

They have reached the bus stop, and she lowers her voice as she continues talking — the early morning commuters look more sleepy than dangerous, but the older woman is not willing to take any chances.

“I agree with you,” she says.

“But in a society like ours, I think people are content to think that this—these problems just don’t… exist.”

The younger woman scoffs, just as the bus rolls up the tarmac and screeches to a halt in front of them. She looks at the older woman as they climb onto the bus; pausing on the metal steps, she comments lightly over her shoulder,

“We exist, though, don’t we? Why not do something about it?”

Smiling slightly, she disappears into the melee of the bus, tucking her margarine-esque hair under the collar of her very expensive, bright-pink sweater.

The older woman follows, wondering what exactly she means.

Mariam Taufeeq

Mariam Taufeeq

The author is a college student who finds solace in writing, despises the rigidity of the education system, and is an idealist/pessimist in a single set of parallels. She tweets as @eideticforgets (twitter.com/eideticforgets)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Maria

    Hi Mariam. The syntax and structure of your writing of your writing is very good. However, your pieces are very obscure. Each piece is left on a cliff hanger but the reader is not shown to to connect the dots from piece to piece.Recommend