THE NARRATIVE ARC | MEMOIR

I Didn’t Know What I Was Poking in the Foliage

A childhood memory that still gives me goosebumps

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles
The Narrative Arc
Published in
5 min readJun 12, 2024

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A burmese python slithering through a haystack
Not the snake I prodded but I swear it looked exactly like this. Photo by Vidya Sury

I was ten years old and in the seventh grade. We lived in an interesting single-story house. The main house was occupied by the landlord, who rented out the two two-room portions in front and one side apartment that also had two rooms.

Our family, which, at the time, included my grandma, Mom, Uncle, and myself, occupied one of the front portions. It was a tight fit for us, but the rent was cheap as our kitchen was not attached to the house; it was a makeshift shack in a corner of the compound. It was large and bare, with a counter against one wall. A half wall separated one corner and could be used as a washing area. It had a tap and drainage, and we washed the dishes and, in a pinch, even bathed there when we had guests. We hopped, skipped, and jumped between our “main” home and the kitchen connected by a pathway. We had a gas stove but mostly used a kerosene stove, which was more economical. Gas stoves were still a luxury.

The bathroom we shared with another tenant was a small structure with three walls, no roof, and a sheet of tin with a hook for a door. Even when shut, a strong kick could open the door. This “bathroom” was in another corner of the compound…

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Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles
The Narrative Arc

Publisher, Namaste Now! Writer, all genres. Editor. Poet. Diabetes Warrior. Traveler. Photographer. Hopeful. Wears son's oversized tshirts https://vidyasury.com