She had found an interesting career to look forward to – in her late sixty’s. The young man, who had rescued her, had arranged it all for her. She started selling fruits in the sidewalk along with around one hundred other vendors who were there with different stuffs. Though irritated in the beginning, she got used to live all day with the shouts of the vendors that would sync with the sound of dense vehicles that would share the road with the pedestrians and were always in a hurry. Within a week, she became familiar with everyone around her and with the way her little business would work. The street became like a family to her. There were different kinds of people ranging from annoying to interesting. But everyone would give her a hand whenever she would need.
Among the interesting ones, a character named Min was on the top of Rammaya’s list. He had been selling books in the streets from decades. All her life, the illiterate woman from the fifty’s had been thinking that literate people would never end up being poor. She wondered if bookseller was literate, and even if he was, what made him end up in the street?
“Do you also know how to read? or you just sell the books?” Rammaya asked Min one day.
“I have been reading them all my life,” Min said. “How can a man who can’t read sell books?”
“You are a literate man,” Rammaya sighed “What went wrong?”
“What?” her words surprised Min. “What do you mean what went wrong?” He said “Everyone is literate these days, and everyone is poor.”
“I am grateful that I am still surviving.”
The boy who grew up in that very street had traveled a long way to get there. Books had brought the turning point in his life.
“The body of my friends were found in the riverbank after two days of their arrest from the garbage pile. We had already become infamous and a headache for the administration because we needed to steal to survive.” He started sharing his story with his old friend. “I got so scared that I ran to the southernmost part of the city. A man rescued me from the streets there. Took me to his shelter.
“I did not have to worry about basic needs there. I learned to read and write, but a bigger problem was written on my fate there. The man was a pedophile. He had raped every kid in his shelter. I was the fresh one. So I decided to run away one fine night. I looked around for the things to take away to sustain in the streets, but what I found worthy were only the books. I nicked the thickest ones and took off.
“Since then I have been selling books in the streets. They have been my best friends and the source to see the other day.”
This short event is a little part from ONE THOUSAND BLATANT DREAMS, my first ever fiction. You can find more about the book on the link below.