Dhobi Wallahs: Looky loo 99 Word Flash Fiction

For centuries Dharval’s family had been Dhobi Wallahs but his clients were now dwindling, no longer wanting the function the family performed. India was becoming too affluent. The Hyatt Hotel, his last pick-up, always had a consignment. He grabbed the bag and pedalled furiously to the muddy, polluted Ganges. His door to door six day clothes  washing service was now done in three to keep clients happy. He beat the sari furiously against the rocks as he watched sewage float past and the swaddled body of a dead child. Maybe his clients were right. They should buy washing machines.

In response to Charli’s prompt where she asks:

December 9, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about a looky-loo. It can be in the general term of “looking around” or it can be a nosy neighbor kind of tale. You can also go deeper into the prompt and have a looky-loo at another culture (or your own).

Respond by December 15, 2015 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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17 Responses to Dhobi Wallahs: Looky loo 99 Word Flash Fiction

  1. cindy knoke says:

    Oh my. Speechless. Powerful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Makes me appreciate all that I have. As Cindy says, you left me speechless as it is so powerful.
    If you are interested, I posted a poem on my blog, A Walk to Darfur, that addresses a similar disparity of fortune and culture.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Sharon. Your poem is powerful also. It shows us as human and just a twist of fortune has changed our fortune. Oh for the day when there is no conflict and wealth is redistributed so that no man starves or is unable to gain an education and all those types of priviledges which we take for granted.


  3. Charli Mills says:

    An interesting point — the laundry gets “cleaned up” in the modernization, yet the river is filled with the dirty laundry of societal woes. A dark flash but a realistic view of globalization. I like the photo, too. Fascinating. I was thinking it looked like a laundromat before I read!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Charli. Small changes, that we see as commonplace such as the washing machine, can lead to starvation for those whose livelihoods depended on the work. There are some great pictures of washing places in India. Amazing how no article of clothing is ever delivered to the wrong person.


  4. Powerful piece, Irene. Again, with a brilliant photo to bring it all together.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Norah says:

    Oh, Irene. This is such a sad piece. We are fortunate to live such privileged lives. We need reminders such as this powerful story to make us reflect on that. I have just read a challenging piece about being a witness of privilege by Paul Thomas. He also gives much food for thought. Your flash follows his thinking very well. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Annecdotist says:

    Yup, Excellent stomach-churning stuff, Irene.
    Used to pride myself I was quite good at washing clothes in the river – they do tend to wear out pretty quickly when you’ve been bashing them against a rock.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sherri says:

    Wow…hard-hitting, powerful, evocative…excellent flash Irene…

    Liked by 1 person

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