The Ultimate Guide to Shopping When Broke

A certain man
named Jacques
is broke,
financially.

He snaps his finger –
tak, tak tak!
Gets up
and walks around
his little home
and stares at the curtains
hanging on the window,
brown in colour.

He reaches for his wooden cupboard –
it’s open;
it’s always open;
he leaves it open.
He opens the drawers,
feels through the wire mess
and discarded bills –
sees a bill which is due –
puts it aside.
He explores further,
finds a coin;
finds another another in the corner.
One and two makes three – three rupees.
Jacques has three rupees.

He walks down the hall
to the laundry basket;
looks at it –
blue and black jeans,
shirts and t-shirts – yellow, white, and green;
all wrinkled.
He digs his long arm inside
and takes out a blue, ragged jeans;
puts his hand in the left pocket;
takes it out;
puts his hand in the right pocket;
and finds three coins;
three and two and one and one makes seven – seven rupees.
Jacques has seven rupees.

He goes to the bathroom,
and pushes the door to inside;
the bathroom is locked;
he likes to keep it locked.
He walks inside, stands;
sees the little bag on the top right corner;
reaches for it;
unzips it;
looks inside
through razor blades, shaving creams, and moisturisers;
finds two coins;
seven and tow and one makes ten.
Jacques has ten rupees.

He walks out;
feels his stomach rumbling;
walks out of the house,
down the lane
to the street.

The smell of pakodas
from the nearby cart
reach his nose;
and the rain is coming, too.
The jalebis look good in the boiling oil
in the pan;
there’s a croud gathered;
the jalebi man is well-known.

He crosses the road,
and reaches a small shop;
places the coins on the counter,
and buys a pack of cigarettes;
on credit.

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