He had left everything behind in his search for truth. Walked 1000â€™s of miles, listened to religious discourses, toured all temples, taken bath in holy waters, nothing happened. Life was still an enigma, He did not get deliverance.
As he sat, watching the traffic flowing up and down with great speed rushing to reach some place, no one saw him, or if they saw him, he was one more savant lost to the world.
Just then a car stopped, an angelic baby jumps out and callâ€™s â€œPapaâ€.
He looked up in surprise, truth was before him.
On the hill there was a poor old tramp wandering about with his stick, among the carriages. A mass of rags covered his shoulders, and a squashed beaver-hat, bent down into the shape of a bowl, concealed his face; but, when he took it off, he exposed, instead of eyelids, two yawning bloodstained holes. The flesh was tattered into scarlet strips; and fluid was trickling out, congealing into green crusts that reached down to his nose, with black nostrils that kept sniffing convulsively..
To people I was an absconding guy, but I was killed for organ business and left to die. I tried so hard to lead my life and it took few minutes for to take away my life. My kidneys have made someone alive and have left my soul to wounder for life near this lonely road. Beneath I lie where I am visible to death and invisible to life..
He had far left the gangland that his native was, an overpopulated state with sorry governance. For a city bursting at it's seams, it was a serious issue. How much development would one digest as to hack away the sole place deemed the lungs of the city named, Aarey colony.
His lowly existence accentuated his wretchedness. He just wanted to make a living, by hook or crook, the latter seemed quite an easy option for him. Is this the path he choose for himself?.
Silently gazes into the path strewn with wilderness..
December 1996 wasn't good to this Bengali lad. Happiness was the rarest thing he knew. The climate was cold, his body, colder and his heart, coldest. Countrymen came and went. But he didn't move. There was a spark in his sleepy soul. And there was optimism in his lethargic eyes.
That was the very spot where they met; where they played football, fought over petty things, laughed over their miseries, shared their tiffin boxes and what not!
Anirban, the eternal flame, still awaits in hope.
He still believes that the Brahmaputra mail is late.
He waited for the warmth of her laughter to come to him. The girl who stepped out of the bus and watched him from a distance had gone. She reminded him of her somehow. The eyes, smiling and grim at the same time. For a moment he thought it was Mita. Far off, as the sun raced to its setting point, the airwaves played their dance. â€œYes Ma, he is there.â€ In another city, tears rolling down her scarred face, the woman sat, shoulders heaving, her heart broke again. Twenty years had taken everything from her. Him. .
â€œWhere three roads meet, at crossroads, decisions are madeâ€, she had said. â€œI shall wait here tomorrow. If our love means more than a passing college affair, come find me here at duskâ€.
The next day was spent in torrid confusion. Did he love her, did he not? He stumbled but reached the agreed spot. One day late.
And it was there that he waited ever since - on a cold stone bench, where three roads meet.
They called him a beggar, they thought him insane. Some left him money, some bread. Each morning he woke, he thought, â€œPerhaps today...â€.
At the end he was left alone. People used him, abused him and took away his conscience and kicked him away to die alone..
A shabby man in torn and dirty clothes sitting outside this park, no one cared to ask him about his whereabouts. His soul seemed injured and his vision seemed blurred however his consistent and constant stare at the park remained the talking point of visitors.
Dogs or weather around him never drew his attention as he sat in calm and careless posture with a stick kept hidden from the glare of reckless observers. His appearance invoked mysterious stories about him and his past but no one sought his confirmation.
â€œMany like him remain hidden in public placeâ€
The winter's path is long and hoary,
The grey skies tell a gloomy story,
Come, sit with me at the forest's edge,
To watch the day hide behind the hedge
And how, in the moons frozen silver light,
Cold stars cling on to the ghostly night.
Can you hear the wind-borne distant wailing?
That's time, mourning that winter evening,
When we 'd promised to be one beating heart;
But now, death keeps us apart.
But I'll be here when you return,
Till then my winters, in my love, will burn..
It was early morning. Smoking blue sky was running out of gloves of black night. A misty figure, wrapped in human bones and some flesh was sitting on the edge of the road. His eyes were struck to the street art that was painted by leaves with the brush of dewdrops.
For a moment, a thought arouse in his hopeless eyes, his body shivered. Echoes of words, flashes of his stoned fate began to hover around his ragged soul.
â€œStay...Stay away... You leech! â€ A pious man pushed him aside and entered into the temple with folded hands.
â€œOur party has provided shelter to about a hundred homeless people over the past several months. At the inauguration of our new office, we pledge to ensure shelter for all within five years.â€
The crowd applauded.
At a distant deserted street, a homeless man sat alone. His tears had dried. He used to have a house until a few months back. Then a gang of goons turned up one night, demolished his hut and chased him out of the town. A political party then chose the land around his home as the site for its new head quarter..
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I had everything a happy-lucky man would wish for.
22nd Jan 2006 â€“ the D-Day we both had been waiting for so long.
Lights ready, cameras rolling, cheer of audience was rejuvenating. She was nervous. I took her close â€œTrust me my loveâ€¦Itâ€™s gonna be miracleâ€
Show started, rhythm was in and it was out. Suddenly I lost her, lost her from my arms. She lied numb. I was shattered. That day I did not only lose her but I also lost my identity. Now here I am wandering all alone trying to deal with my solitary..
The tattered clothes on my body still give me the strength. I don't beg. I was a businessman once. Lost it all. Life is a gamble. We are all gamblers. The only thing I hold from my past is the pair of shoes.
I can't get rid of them. They bring me the comfort, which not even this thick shawl can bring. I didn't realize when people said, "stay grounded even if you achieve great success." Now I know what they meant. These shoes keep me grounded. Not all my peers are privileged to own a pair of shoes..
Bhiku sat under the shade of the tree musing on his lonely life - just like this road. Even the crowds at the Mela had not dispelled his loneliness. After his wife's death, his sons had thrown him out. He contemplated on ending his life.
But No! he was not a coward. He would get back his share of sunlight. Hadn't the government passed legislation to help people like him? He'll find his way out of the gloomy shade and claim his patch of open sky..
And now I am here
Alone and dejected
Crawling along with the cold breeze
A familiar pauper and rejected
Remember I the days of the past
Mother used to hug me tight
She was full of colors
And I ended to a life black and white
To live a life like nothing
Is no less than being dead
Sitting on this concrete bench
My hearts aches for my bed
Winters was the most cherished season once
And my favorite was the morning fog
I had friends then to play with
And now just a street dog
And now I am here
Lost and infected
Walking down the lanes
Just another pauper and neglected.
The sunlight is mellow, but hurts his eyes. He waits for eventide.
Daylight gives him an identity, which he no longer needs. He waits for darkness to wrap its icy blanket around him.
The road is silent, but he craves for the hums of the night, which only his ears can pick up.
The night would get colder, but he is beyond numbness.
He waits for the branches to drip.
He waits for the nightfall, when the spirits will dance around him.
He is waiting when he can be himself again.
He is waiting.
A lonesome man, resting abandoned,
As you glimpse at him, you pity him so,
But do you know the sins he perpetrated,
Do you know the hearts he obliterated?
Seldom such scenes, often provoked sympathies,
But do you know how he led to melancholies,
Assumption of an aura so piteous,
We forget to see the turpitudes committed,
Now he sits brooding like an empty dream,
Knowing no path, no journey, no congruence it seems,
Remorse walks towards him now,
His immoralities have come to culmination now,
The brevity of the situation is,
He does not know the corollary yet!
The very idea that I am going to die "someday" is extremely liberating.
Find death before it finds you, echoed my inner voice as I left those fake dreams behind.
They said, I am the inheritor of immense ancestral wealth and fortune.
Consciousness is awakening from this strange dream.
Nothing is real, nothing is false. It is what you imagine it to be.
As for me, all I know is I know nothing.
Itâ€™s not destruction, itâ€™s deconstruction.
I must have died alone, a long time ago.
I am face to face with the man who sold the world!
Why it so happens that the known path brings the unknown to us. This is what I had chosen for myselfâ€¦no one forced me for this. Thousands of such questions revolved around his head while he looked blankly at the road ahead. It was his idea to travel, just to travel. But he was lost in the search, the search of the unknown. Thinking, rethinking, moving in a loop, to return or to not. With the stick by his side, he decided to stick to the idea, this isnâ€™t it... the journey continues. .
Farhad was a travelling mystic. A Himalayan sage had told him his destiny was entwined with a woman from a different galaxy. He had been waiting an eternity on the road milestone to meet her.
And then she appeared. An unimaginable beauty holding a lilac scarf .. Time was kaleidoscoping and he lost his heart to her a million times.
A splash of cold water jolted him out of his trance.
"Farhad, Bawa.. Uth be! How did you get on the road? Shite, you are weeded. "
"Is that.. Saala.. Wasted fellow, where did you get my sister's scarf?.
"This road scares the shit out of me, more than the smuggling we indugle in"
"Just because people are getting killed every other night on this road"
"Well mostly people who have been on the wrong side of law"
"Don't be scared, it is almost dawn and we have that regular beggar for company"
"Is that a rifle that he is...
The bus swerved around the corner and stopped for a few seconds. She jumped on its last step. Suddenly she turned and shouted with an impish grin, â€œLetâ€™s elope. Tomorrow, meet me here at 7.â€ The bus lurched ahead and he waved at her, nodding his head in disbelief. All they knew about each other was their first names. She talked. He listened. Since last two months, every dusk saw him buying her an ice candy which she finished before boarding that bus.
Next day, he woke up with flu and couldnâ€™t leave the bed.
He still waits.
"What do you think is his story?"
"I can't seem to get any vibes off him. I must be having a reader's block."
"Is there even such a thing?"
"I am facing one now. He could be having a writer's block for all I know."
"Let me make an image for the others to fictionalise."
"Can you folks keep your discussion to yourselves? A man is trying to find some peace here. And, you were bluffing about the block right?"
"No Mr. Akthar, I wasn't."
"You can call me Farhan. Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr...?