I read the graffiti on the wall. In big, bold letters, scrawled a foot high, it said “APNI MARZI KARDHI!” I didn’t understand. Next to it, written in white correction fluid, the words, “THE POOR CAN TAKE NO MORE: RESIGN”. My conscience was jolted and I took a pen from my pocket and wrote, “The cure is an elixir in a small glass bottle, but only god knows where it is”. There were other words on the wall. “Hold me tight. Don’t let go.” “You don’t own me. I have rights too.” “Fahari wawili wanapo pigana nyasi ndizo ziumiazo.” “If you treat me like shit, you’ll have to live with the stench.” “I love…” and “Sal was ere B4 U”.

The words expressed people’s thoughts. I left and returned a week later, but now the words were gone, lost beneath another layer of cream emulsion. There was a single, new message.


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