The Mad Woman

I walk a kilometre or so to school every morning. Sometimes I come across a mad woman dressed in a dark dirty sari. She probably has not had a bath for years. Her hair is matted, teeth stained red with betel-nut and eyes blood-shot with the look of madness. I always keep my distance from her for my own safety for I cannot be sure what she will do next. Also she smells terrible up close.

It is never pleasant when I see her standing by the roadside. She is by no means violent but she has the nasty habit of following people who pass by. Normally when I see her I cross over to the other side of the road just to avoid her. Usually that works. Sometimes she crosses the road too. So I run. Fortunately she cannot run very fast and gives up after a while.

One morning, as I crossed the road to avoid her, she tried to cross too. I started to run. She started to run too but tripped on her sari. She fell down hard on the road and lay there in a heap. I wanted to keep running but I saw that she was in great danger of being run over by a car. So I ran over to her to pull her to the roadside.

As much as I disliked it, I had to help her. The other passers-by did not seem to bother. So I held my breath and pull her by her arms towards the roadside. By now people and cars had stopped to watch. No one helped but at last I managed to drag her to safety.

She opened her eyes and gave me a smile. I could only stare at her dumbly. Then I turned and hurried to school to wash my hands.

I am going to get a bicycle to cycle to school. It is much faster this way. Also I will not have to contend with the mad woman again. 

sari, saree

a dress, worn especially by Indian and Pakistani women, consisting of a very long piece of thin cloth wrapped around the body


twisted into a firm, untidy mass

contend with
to have to deal with a difficult or unpleasant situation