In the monsoon season of Sylhet,
I witnessed the exquisite – barely expecting it amongst the dry drizzle of rainwater
and the paddling feet of impoverished children on the puddles by the roadside.
I looked past all the shallow waters that drenched the homeland
to the looming giant that cast a shadow on the water-drenched streets.
I could smell the wet tea leaves and watched the women with their sarees,
children wrapped around their ankles, black and bruised hands
picking at dewy green leaves as the heavens opened up and the rain poured anew.
And on the streets, the children were barely clothed.
And on the hills, the children were barely clothed,
and the mothers – women with hardened hands – soaked wet to their bones.
Then a cloud descended and the vision disappeared as soon as it had come.
And I was left with the children in the puddles and the dry drizzle and the water
as it floated above and above so the rickshaws had to stop and the children,
brown in skin and mud, had to traipse home, bare feet.
What about the women in their sarees.
What about the children on their ankles.
What about the dewy tea leaves atop a hill.
On the way to Dhaka, I could see the Tripura hills outside the tinted windows
of an AC compartment that blocked out the cries of the dying children on the outside.
But I could only momentarily remember the vision of a hill with the women and their children
and the tea leaves that were wet with rainwater that drowned the town, the city, the country.
And the women and children of Tripura hills never stopped.
Adiba Jaigirdar is a twenty year old writer and poet. She currently resides in Dublin, Ireland and is studying as an undergraduate in University College Dublin in order to complete a BA double major in English and History. She has previously been published in Outburst, Wordlegs and A Splash of Verse.