A soft step walk as if he was entering someone else’s house, he placed the small packet of rice in the kitchen and walked straight into the bathroom. 

Panting hard. He opened the tap and waited for the bucket of water to fill, looking passively as the water took it’s own sweet time.

“Just Rice?” She shouted from the kitchen. “We’ve been waiting since morning for this?!” 

He leaned on the wall listening to her agitated voice. Sweat dripping down his temple over his muddy clothes. His tired eyes blinked in slo-mo.

As the overflowing water from the bucket brought him back to his senses, he stripped down to pour water. The soiled water went down the drain while he washed himself up along the background score coming from the kitchen. 

When they all sat down to eat. A bowl of rice, a watered down dal from yesterday and pickle sent over by the kid’s grandma, he tried to read the silences. Her irritation and the kid’s helplessness of having to eat the food.

He had no answer. 

As he gulped down a spoonful of rice and waited till it reached somewhere close to his destination, he uttered his thankfulness to the almighty along with a forced burp. Shukr Alhamdulilah.

His kids looked up from their plate and threw a smile at him. 

He had finally received his day’s pay.