Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2256594-Prompt-4--Slums
by jaya
Rated: E · Short Story · Career · #2256594
Jagan's life took an interesting turn.
Prompt 4- Slums

Having come from a lower middle class family, Jagan lived on the outskirts of the town where his father had bought a small piece of land from a real estate businessman. He was able to get a small two-bedroom house built within a year. The family shifted to the new house soon afterwards. It was a bit strange and silent there. They were used to living in the big, busy bustling city for many years. The change was felt clearly.

The slums were right across the street where people of different skills lived.
It was an arid patch of land near to the hill range. It was hot and dusty throughout the year irrespective of the seasons. It rained only during a depression in the sea. Not a tree was in sight. Shanties with roofs made of sheets of asbestos or mere thatch or mud or pieces of metal sheltered families of three to ten members. It a big colony of about hundred houses. The lanes were always busy. By five in the morning the urban water supply was on for an hour and then it stopped. There were some five such municipal taps for the entire slum.
They had power but water was a problem.

Men and women rush with pots and buckets to fill water to be used for various purposes like cooking, washing and bating. From morning to late night the small irregular lines were peopled thickly and noise and pollution were prevalent.

The kids of the colony had a single teacher school in the vicinity. They went walking about a mile or so. Lunch was supplied by the school and it had all the government amenities as promised by the elected government. Fortunately, elementary education was free. So the parents of the children were relieved of paying fees or making lunch for them.

There was an open ground at a little distance from where Jagan lived. When he saw the slum kids playing cricket or foot ball, he joined them. He had a natural inclination for sports and physical activity. The children being children had no problem to let him play with them. His parents felt happy that their son had some people to play with and spent the evenings out of doors instead of being glued to TV or cell phone like the children of their colleagues located in the city. Here, the air was pure and early mornings were cool and refreshing.

On a night, for some reason there was power outage in the slums. So the people living there had no way to watch TV or for the kids to do their home work. The guys in the slum know that Jagan’s older brother was an electrician. Some of them came to Jagan’s house at seven pm and requested him to look into the matter. Gautam knew there must be some trip at the main board. He went with a torch as did the others. It was a minor problem, which he could fix in few minutes. A cheer went up from the small crowd, when the lights came up and life was in perspective again. Such small incidents gave them great pleasure to feel grateful about.

Word count: 621
Written for World Weavers' Championship hosted by Tileira

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2256594-Prompt-4--Slums