Little Kingdom This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The rising sun opens the door to a whole new world - a world of wonder and fascination. The cry of the rooster wakes the sleepy little village. A fisherman laying his net, disturbs the unruffled waters of the river. The men of the village get up at dawn to chip away at rubber trees drooping with the sweet morning dew, while the women prepare rice pancakes and tea. The dew drop roses and hydrangeas wash away their sleep and smile at the newly born sun. The children help carry water needed for the day's cooking from the well in front of their homes. The sweet aroma of the delicious rice pancakes baking awakens the rest of the household. The once-quiet house becomes restless as the day begins.

After their meal, the men leave for the fields while the women eat and feed the children. The rice fields are spread out like unending green carpets across the flat lands. The dusty unpaved roads lie bent like a labyrinth and wander through the village. One can hear the roar of a bus or the hoof noises of oxen carts once in a while.

At home the women do their daily household chores like cooking and cleaning. Mothers bathe their little ones by the well. The cool water trickles down their limbs and caresses them. The young girls of the village help their mothers by herding cattle and tending to other household chores like hand-washing clothes by the river and gathering twigs and palm tree branches for the clay-baked stove while little children bring their fathers lunch at noon.

At dusk when the sky becomes gray and the sun dies, the men return from the fields carrying their pay of fifty rupees. A day's pay is only a little over a dollar for most workers. After everyone bathes and cleans themselves, it is time to say prayers. They all gather in prayer, giving thanks. Late at night at 9 or 10, the family eats dinner and then retires to bed. The village sleeps once again anticipating yet another day filled with wonder and fascination.

This story takes place in a small village in South India called Ramamangalam where I grew up. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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