It was dusk. Rama struggled to carry the vegetables from the market on one arm and Mano on the other. I must stop being distracted by purple eggplants. They’re just too heavy. Mano struggled to get down, swinging her legs and shifting her weight. Rama thought they’d both fall into the street.
“Mano, stop wiggling. I can’t put you down in the mud.”
Mano kicked her legs into Rama’s stomach.
“Mano, I’m not kidding. Stop this instant.”
Rama paused to catch her breath, putting the basket down on a wooden box.
“I shouldn’t have bought so many vegetables,” she said to Mano, “but they’re so beautiful. I don’t know if I want to cook them or gaze at the colors. You don’t know how lucky you are. When I was your age, we never had enough to eat.”
Rama bent to pick up her basket just as bony fingers reached for it.
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