The Sunday before the last Sunday, I was getting bored and feeling guilty for being indoors on a day of glorious sunshine. After I had put some shine on my office shoes and ironed the cloths for a week of tidy and smart looks; I called a taxi for the train station. I took the first train out of town towards the South.
Bad luck it seemed was hovering just outside the small town, no sooner I crossed the familiar roads, bridges and houses; it started raining. I could hear a lot of curses aimed at the weather gods; I just wished by the time I get off, the sun comes out.
There was a couple sitting diagonally opposite. They were carrying an infant, probably a baby boy. There was a genuine good feeling inside me seeing them. People passing by them would bless the baby and share a smile. The couple too looked very happy and it seemed from their talks they were taking the baby to some relative's place for the first time. I was thinking of the delicious food one can relish on in such a family gathering and all the merry talks to accompany. The baby had a beautiful smile with his mouth closed, no teeth that's why I suppose! He was constantly gazing skywards through the large glass window.
A part of my name will be the Hindu god for rains and my wish was going to be fulfilled. As the train was approaching my destination, the dark grey clouds were being driven away by strong winds and the sun was trying to come out from a part of sky which seemed like whipped cream.
I had reached the big city which was looking sparkling new, thanks to the after-shower Sun. The riverside in the middle of the city was the place I headed for. I went underground to catch the local train to reach the riverside.
Some delay awaited me. There was an announcement that a man had come under a train in that section of the local train service. What was that, an accident?
Any ways. I reached the riverside and there was a great deal of hustle bustle. I took some popcorn and sat on a long empty bench. At a distance a group of old men were playing some music and people had gathered around them with their cameras on and recording while others had a drink in their hands and swaying. Some just passed without taking notice.
It was a beautiful evening and the sun was setting behind the buildings on the opposite bank. There was a girl by the first lamp post on my right. She was looking at me or may be I was in her line of sight. She had a scarf on her head and you could only see her eyes. She turned away when I looked her way.
There was a chance encounter with an old friend and his wife.We shared some of the happenings of our lives and they departed after having being to their place for dinner later that night. My popcorn was finished so I got up, threw the empty wrapper into the trash bin and walked towards the railing by the river edge. The lamp post was at 5-6 feet on my right. I was leaning on the railings and producing some sort of quack-quack sound to bring the swans closer who were leisurely drifting on the river. One of the swan spoke to me! It said, "quack quack quacko quacker quack". To translate it into human understanding, the swan said that they do a lot of feet work beneath the water so the humans should not think that the swans are lazy creatures, simply drifting all day long on water. The drifting involves lot of restless feet movement which is in contrary to the calm over-the-surface projection, that's what the swan said.
Just kidding, no swan talked, not even one came near to me.
As I followed the drifting of the swans to my right, I saw a scarfed head duck behind the lamp post. Her eyes were magical and mysterious. She was already walking away and getting lost into the evening crowd.
The street lights had come on and the half moon looked spooky from certain angles when it lay behind some towering spire. The girl appeared again! This time on the bridge. She was constantly looking down into the darkness of the gushing water by the thick support for the bridge.
I went up to her to greet her. She said a meekly hello. On talking to her, I came to know of her sorrows. Her elder sister was in hospital, fighting for her life, after a drunk man rammed his van into their house two days back. Her sister still was in coma. I talked some comforting words, very difficult for me in such situations, and walked her to the hospital offering prayers and good wishes.
While returning home that night, I learnt it was not an accident in the underground train service earlier in the day and the baby-couple met again on my return trip. Their baby was just 3 weeks old.
At the comforts of my home, I thought one life. The baby smiles at something looking skywards; may be saying it is just the beginning. Someone takes up his own life and goes into the vortex of nothing. There are many offering prayers to bring a second life from the vortex.