“Loneliness is the worst disease, my girl” she announced as she sipped her mango drink noisily. All day she sat in her shop selling odd things. Cigarettes. Maggi noodles. Mouth fresheners. Orange sweets. Peanut chikki. Cold drinks. Sachets of Nescafe. Chips. Biscuits. Key chains with coloured hearts on them. Photocopies. A4 sheets of paper. And ballpoint pens. Like she had figured out that is all she needed to make the dreary solitary moments of yet another day a little less lonely.
Her hand doled out things in exchange for coins and murky currency notes from morning till late evening. But at night, after she shut the shutter on her hole-in-the-wall shop she wondered if the things in the shop whispered quiet nothings to each other. Did they say things to each other? In things language? Lying together and yet apart in a dark little shop? Did they miss her? She certainly missed them.