The day was hectic and growling through his wrist watch. His eyes were continuously searching that furry ball, but she was not on the port today. After spending five decades of his life, he couldn’t even decode the language of love yet. Then why he has been missing that tiny patchy thing. Her curious eyes, paw-nose fight, and the way she would circle around him until she gets some fish. Every little nuances teasing him of her absence. She was only a stranger cat, who found him out. She made him realize the narrow path between captivity and belonging. .
After giving a fair boil, he started filtering that liquid into small white plastic cups. His eyes were keenly observing that dribble but he left his ears on the words, bouncing from radio. The news was terribly painful, about attacks, killings and religion. He glanced at the customers who were waiting for their tea-cups and then he read his sign board, his heart sank.
â€œKhan Bhaiya, One cupâ€¦Strong oneâ€ someone said.
He sighed with great relief and started serving that divine drink with a thought â€œIs there any problem that tea canâ€™t resolve.â€
The hesitation, profound as kaajal, smearing under her eyes, her fingertips counting the strangers, who addressing her as â€œNew Mammaâ€, although she had learnt about concept of marriage through her friends, Two bodiesâ€”one soul. Her gullible friends might have forgotten to count the kids i.e. five bodies and One soul?
With empty eyes, her shaking breath, searching for the person she tied knot with, past night. Here she could only find the bare room suffocated with some whispering utterance, â€œSecond-Wifeâ€. She was smiling at their stupidity because those experienced people couldnâ€™t even determine who the second one is..
The Sky was black. Smoke of crackers wiped all the plans executed into government buildings. I was wandering like a hippieâ€”farâ€¦far away from my hometown, alone. Suddenly, few street kids caught my attention, playing at the side of that road. I stared for a while, then donâ€™t know why? I rushed towards them and offered few bucks. They hesitated but a shied girl almost snatched the money from my hands. I was about to turn, leaving the place, but my ears got stuck on their giggles, girl declared while looking at the sky â€”Iâ€™ll buy some plants..
In the stillness of night, despite of face shield, his clouded eyes struggling with smoke and flying sparks. Though his back was swaying on his sweaty legs but there was an experience on his wrinkled face that relayed, the harsh heat couldnâ€™t trouble him at all, past dayâ€™s conversation with his master still hovering around his vision.
â€˜For godâ€™s sake, youâ€™re almost forty-one. Are you sure?â€™
â€˜I really need to do this.â€™
â€˜Total madness! Iâ€™m telling you, who would join a school at this age?â€™
â€˜One who would have spent his whole childhood as dish-washer, amidst faceless city.â€™.