Ria pulls the flying white dupatta to my hair and tilts my smudged forehead to her shoulder. Neel clutches my bare wrists as if detecting a pulse. My strong children.
The smell of ghee, incense, and flesh wafts over Brahmins’ chants, bowed heads and the retiring sun. Orange flames rise in a chorus to consume him. The ashes fall lightly on me.
A decade of hospital benches and blood donation appeals ends.
The bottle wins. Resign. Life is the new adversary.