Moloch, whose soul is electricity and banks!
His disheveled graying hair was not the most striking part of his anatomy. Nor were his wrinkled, blackened hands. They were his empty, vacant eyes, reduced into an organ to stop him from running into something, or to keep his machine in check.
Walking home from his workplace in the mills, taking his routine path since the past twenty five years made him lose his spark. The lack of a thought in his mind, when he was not doing anything did not bother him anymore.
Getting ten rupees a day was enough to send his son to college and eat two square meals a day. With the additional income his wife made baby-sitting the rich kids, and selling achaars and papads was enough to send their daughter off to school. Monotony had given him security and his family health. And this life was content enough for him.
She walked in her pumps towards her SUV, an iPhone in her hand, making plans for the weekend. Once in the car, she let her hair down literally, but not figuratively. After giving her driver instructions, she turned to reply to her emails, most of them written horribly.
A routine (whatever that was) phonecall to her dad later, she frowned. She had just gotten promoted and now earned enough to support another generation were they not to work. Discontent, however, grew like a cancer in her. Her dream had come with its consequences.
Coming from Parel, Bombay, in the 80s, she had seen what deprivation was. She had seen what life was. Her dad, an assembly-line worker, was a prototype of a Fordist employee. While they were relatively well off, they had their bad days. She knew what it was like to sleep under constant vigilance, with just leftover pickles and papads in her stomach, not knowing if there will be a tomorrow that their family would see.
While his brother joined the strikes, it was she who had to witness their parents terrified- terrified if their son would come back alive.
One day, as she came home, she was greated by loud wails, a big crowd and a cold, beaten body under a white sheet. After two months, her dad relocated them to his native village, where he stayed obsolete for a long time, and her mother, disenchanted.
Miraculously, they had let her go to school, and later college. At graduation, she already had a letter of acceptance from numerous B-Schools in the U.S., all impressed by her living the American Dream.
Twenty years there she was, richer than the children her mum baby-sat. Richer than she imagined could be possible. A secure job, all the latest technology at her finger tips, an upward mobile job- as Post Fordist as it gets, a loving husband and two doting children- a boy and a girl.
Yet, her most striking feature was not her frail, beautiful body. Nor was it her Louis Vitton bag or her Jimmy Choo pumps. They were the vacant eyes her Gucci sunglasses hid. And her discontent, heart shaped face.