"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




The television played a new Bollywood song and it was loud enough for the kids to enjoy. The lady and her kids, their guts bloated with porridge slush, lay down on their beds with their ears tuned to the song. It was their daily lullaby. In a few moments, the door would open, a sloshed up male would walk in, and it would be time for the kids to force themselves to sleep. Ah! make no mistake, nobody forced it on the kids - they just learnt the trick in order to escape the uncomfortable scenes that followed.

And the customary did repeat itself that night. The door did open and big daddy bumbled in, carrying a halo of liquor whiff around him. As if on cue, the neighbours switched over to news channel and upped the volume. He stared at the lady and licked his wet lips. He was salivating, but not for food. He was wet in other places too.
 
The news reader boomed next door, "So ladies and gentlemen, on the great debate tonight, we want the people of this country to question, what is the government doing to uplift its millions. If our voices are being heard then why are millions homeless, and even more sleeping hungry at night. Our panelists are... "
 
The man barged into bed and dragged his wife beside him. She shrieked. He gagged her, as he didn't want their voices to be heard. Thankfully the news reader was helping them.
 
"So my dear folks," went on the news anchor, "is this new bill really going to put food on the poor man's plate? Are his children going back to school? Is his life going to be any better with this bill? I want your views please.."
 
The man began pulling her saree up. She tried to resist, not because she wanted to avoid unilateral sex - avoiding was never an option - but it was her ovulating period and she would risk pregnancy. They had 4 children already and there wasn't place in the house for another one.
 
"Our government is committed to remove the burden of poverty. Our poor people will receive free food, free education, and free houses." said one of the panelists.
 
He slapped her gently to stifle her resistance. She tried to indicate to him about her concern but he didn't seem to care. His carelessness seemed to say that feeding the children was not his problem. He just wanted, what he wanted right now. With her saree lifted, he quickly untangled his dhoti and began to mount her.
 
"There will be pressure on our economy but it's our duty to find the resources. We can't leave millions hungry out there. What is the sin they committed to be in such drudgery?" said another panelist.
 
As his hands made its way to her breasts, she gently smiled and gave in. She knew it was a sin to let another child come into this wretched life, yet she basked in that fleeting moment of happiness, of knowing that, unlike many of her neighbours, atleast her husband came home to her every night.
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