Sitting near the window of her study, with a wall to wall bookcase at the backdrop, racks of which were filled with the distinct collectible titles, she was looking out casually. The relentless downpour was splattering the glass window with infinite threads of beady pearls. As if there was a huge rush to hit the ground, out of unknown compulsion, a kind of stampede, she felt. It had turned everything around into a scene of structured chaos as there was a pattern in the merciless lashing, if one noticed closely.
Just like her thoughts. Not ever letting lashing of her mind screen, not even once letting an inch of it go dry without the spell of new random thought, thoughts of life and beyond, of present and future, of achievements and failure, et al, all cascading down with a free fall in the bottomless pit of her thoughts, one after the other, undulating her mind.
The more her mind wandered, the more she shook, involuntarily. Her hands defying the norm of being steady, reflected every tremor felt in the boundless world of thoughts. One such thought however acquired the magnanimous proportion as it surfaced on the horizon of her memories.
There she stood with her arms stretched out, drenched from top to toe, bravely facing up, catching all the strings of raindrops in her wide-open mouth, as much as it could catch and hold. She had become one with the rain, whirling around, acquiring the zen-like status of the whirling Dervishes.
Lost in the rain-soaked memory and dwelling on the slippery threshold of the present, she tried lifting her arms. That very precise moment a bolt of lightning struck her as her shaking arm defied her wish. Wet memory was wiped away in a with a bolt of perilous Parkinson’s. She moved her tongue over the dry lips, gulping down a lump of sorrowful thought.
As she turned her gaze inside, the frail vapors were still leaving the bowl of hot soup kept near her on the table which she had barely finished as she had asked the nurse to stop feeding. There lay a book turned upside down with only a few pages for the end. She wanted to savor the soup, read the book all by herself.
‘It’s not to be’, she affirmed. Sighing, her gaze darted outside.
‘There’s life on the other side’, she thought as she watched a man walking down the street, all drenched, stomping his way through the ankle-deep muddy street water and giving a damn to the heavy downpour. With that thought, she leaned back and closed her eyes.
As he walked in the rain with his clothes dripping and cold making it felt to his bones, he wished to be home.
“Last job of the day and I will have enough”, he assured himself as he thought of his little angle waiting for her gift, a doll that sat pretty in the glass showcase of the toy shop near their shanty. Suddenly he stopped and looked around to confirm the address. There was a complaint about a chocked drainage in the area. There he was to perform his duty more out of compulsion than out of choice. As he looked around, beyond the fence, he saw a glass window. He felt a pinch in his heart as he caught sight of an elderly lady sitting pretty beside the window, un-fathomable number of books behind her, all dry, warm and cosy!
“There’s life on other side”, he thought for a moment and then bent down to open the manhole and immerse himself into the dark, dingy world that fetched his bread and butter.