Her wide eyes took in the colourful see-saw in the corner and wondered if it was as much fun as it looked - the two girls in crisp uniforms and shined shoes who were on it certainly looked like they were having the time of their lives. Then the screams of delight that emanated from the swing drew her gaze - the boy was swinging higher and higher. Maybe if she tried she would be able to touch the sky, she thought, looking up at the fluffy blue clouds and smiling slightly. Then she saw the older girls in the corner who were giggling over cake in a snackbox. They seemed to be about her age - she sighed and wished she had friends like that she could share jokes, dreams and chikki with.
That's when the recess bell rang.
She tore her eyes away unwillingly from the iron gate and went back to her corner under the tree. Chai le lo, chai! she yelled, hoping to attract the couple who were getting out of the auto. She was already calculating how much she'd have to take home to make sure her father didn't beat her mother.
It was business as usual.
But her mind wandered back to the swing and the cake and the girls in the pristine uniforms.
Did their parents ever have fights?