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When the Angels Cry in Heaven

Updated on March 14, 2015

It is a turbulent night; the wind blows softly, tantalizing a tattered muslin drape canopying the gape in a caved in mud wall. A futile effort, to conceal the dismal side of life. An effeminate shadow arches cautiously over the dim halo of light, emerging from a candle thawing in vain. Her eyes two chasms of dreams deplored and tears depleted, now devoid of hope that stare longingly, into the darkness of the night.

Forever in solemnity a mother awaits, as the monolithic moonlight filters through the rags to flaunt the blight befalling her sanctuary. The ceremonial ache, that grows with each hour.


On the other side of the tear drenched drape, prevails the leviathan world of labor that devours each soul resigned to drudgery. Amongst its preys is a lonesome figure that silently strolls down the lanes; amidst the toil of sadistic winds with obsidian eyes roaming through the streets of despair. His steps still small owing to the order of his years but his soul having completed most journeys known. His heart still naïve to breed hope each day to be slaughtered in the hours of the nebulous nights.


He looks at the moon through the ash blown silhouettes of colorless dreams, and imagines a placement unknown to woe. His tiny hands gather the marbles of fate, struck at the globules of sweet naiveté, of utopian wonders and elysian slumbers; falling apart at the brink of reality.

A tear falls upon a smile; a silence is merged with a thousand screams.

The night shudders as a long lost thought sent into wilderness. A passion dismissed, a figment obscured. A mother beholding a candle alight, flickering at the zenith of her dissonant world.

“My lonesome child, my naïve angel. Part of my flesh and more of my soul. I wait midst of the nomadic seasons, underneath the skies that wail for my eyes. My womb has a vice and my heart has sinned, and yet I sin each noon and rise as I lay the burden of life on your shoulders. My fragile child, your lissome steps that voyage through life, have only covered the miles in circles. Paths that wind in mere orbits… with no beginnings and no ends. I watch your pace recede with each stunted step, and allow your soul to decay with every tender heave of breath.”


Concealed in a corner of the gutted house, a little girl stares at the cascade of moonlight stealthily dispersing through the broken glass prisms. She looks beyond the chimerical scheme of the world she knows, behind the tattered muslin rag. She pulls a doll from her small assemblage, with a face so fair and hair so sleek. Tears fill her eyes and roll down to quench the parched pallor in her cheeks.

“When you grow up, you will be a princess. The sun will shine upon your snow white skin and butterflies would flutter, hither and tither… as flowers will bloom in your silken hair.”

She hears his voice and feels his tiny fingers stroke her gristly hair. Nestled in a cache, his whispers of promise would echo in silence.

“Play with me brother.” She would carelessly whisper, and a pall of despondency would overcome his heart.

“I leave before you rise and return while you sleep, as I work hard to make you a princess one day. Play with the doll I brought you from town, for I can see no mirth nor play in my days.”

She clung to the doll as she drowned in the whirl of her unversed reverie.

He perched at the brink of the labyrinthine lanes as his eyes surmised the galactic display of stars in the sky, a sight more familiar than the moldering roof of his abode. His satchel slides off the mauled limbs, as his frail body slumps to the unyielding ground. His quivering hands rummage in the darkness to reclaim his tools of livelihood, but the darkness only grows and so does a calmness, formerly unknown to his ailing heart. His body lies in repose while his eyes behold a cluster of shadows drifting across the ripples of haze, to depart from the moonlit tragedy of the world. He feels a nectarous breeze revive his senses, soothing as the warmth of his mother’s lap. His heart grows wings and ascends with the winds.

A draft blows through the muslin rag and stifles the ebbed candle.

A flickering flame; seldom rekindles.


Almost 250 million children, about one in every six children aged 5 to 17 on the face of the globe, are involved in child labour. Of these, some 179 million (one in eight) are trapped in the “worst forms” of child labour. The worst form are those that endanger the child’s physical, mental or moral well-being - WHO

© 2015 Sara Sarwar Riaz


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