Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Lady Who Loved Silkworms

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The weight of its wetness stretched across the skin of her face. She bit her inner cheeks to suppress a scream as she moved it to her chin. The moment it started crawling, goosebumps sprouted in millions across her skin. She silently addressed fervent prayers to the creator.

She cursed the moment she had agreed to this insane act. She cursed her poverty. She cursed the fate which made her leave the sanctum of her father’s house in the village after being married to the dullard that was her husband. She could not say no to the money, could she? A thousand rupees would buy her enough groceries to last a month. All she had to do was to sit still and smile. It didn’t matter that she was scared of any creature which had more than two legs. It didn’t matter that tears were stinging at the back of her eyes. All that mattered was the smile on the face of her kid when she would feed him a few square meals. That thought was her solace, her energy.

The white silkworm traversed the dark brown landscape of her face and lingered on her cheeks as though contemplating about the onward journey. A lone tear drop rolled out from her lashes as she hastily closed her eyes to shut out the view and the sense of disgust.

She had been made to wear a ridiculous headdress created with mulberry leaves. They had provided her a saree which she had draped in the best way she knew. The girl in the group had protested and made her wear it the ‘proper way’ by pinning it in many places with shiny safety pins.
She heard their murmur of satisfaction as the shoot ended. The girl came and lifted the hat from her head.

“This is going to be a viral video, I tell you,” said the dorky kid wielding the camera. The silkworm was now perched on the top-most mulberry leaf and was eating away at leisure.

“'The lady who loved Silkworms’. How is that for the title?” The nerdy looking kid in glasses asked. The rest of the seven-member gang cheered.

As they handed her the money, she flashed her best smile. She hailed what they called the social-media which had made these kids her constant source of income. What would be her role next time?

 P.S: This was a written assignment as part of the selection criteria at Anita's Attic. We had to write a story beginning with 'The weight of its wetness stretched across the skin of her face' not exceeding 400 words.


  1. Very nicely written, a crisp read...

  2. Social Media would now depict a viral video with a wrong title- this lady really didn't love silkworms...
    Great story, Preethi :)

  3. It is a great read. I read it over and over.
    Did it get you selected to Anita's Attic?

    1. Yes. I was part of Anita's attic, season 4 :) Thanks for reading.

    2. Cool!
      I am going to be one of the participants of Anita's Attic season 5.