The Old Beggar

Heavy luggage in each hand causes both my shoulders to droop. They have this incessant urge of falling to the ground, as if they’re troubled by their own weight and feel like laying down for a while. The searing pain in my arms is trying to pull my nerves apart. I briskly walk through the crowd in hopes of getting this over with quick.

 

I feel disgusted by the mob and the heat, “Why is the railway station this crowded so late in the night?”. Then my eyes fall upon an old lady sitting on the railway platform. She’s sitting upright with her legs straight out. Like sitting in attention.

 

She looks old and destitute. Her hair’s all frizzy. I don’t know if her saree’s always been brown or if it’s due to the dust and pollution. It certainly doesn’t look new. It’s half torn to reveal her legs up to her thighs.

 

She seems to be searching for something but looks up at me when I pass her by. She can’t afford to miss out on anyone. The rarity of a helping soul who can alleviate her grievance compels her to do so. Her eyes are teeming with emotions. Hope, fear, longing and distress. I pass her by quickly, before she could even begin to beg for help. Before her pleading eyes could bore into me. I’m a hypocrite.

 

I couldn’t help but wonder. Who would care about them? Who would want to help? How long until they get better? Will they ever? Would I be helping her by giving her money that brings her respite? Or would I be helping her by giving her nothing, to teach her to live on her own? I can never answer any.

My First Kill

 

Yes, I shot him. He was after all an enemy, wasn’t he?

I asked myself, am I inhuman for doing my job?

I looked into his eyes, they were moist.

Probably remembering his wife and kids back home, remembering those moments which led him to choose the path that resulted in his death.

So, I asked myself again, am I inhuman for depriving a child of her father, for depriving a wife of her husband?

I looked around and saw mutilated bodies; some were of friends’, some of strangers’.

So, I wondered, would this be my fate too?

All I know is, I’m a soldier and I have to kill and die for my country.

The Pleasant Bus Journey

I stick my head out of the window. Wind gushes past my hair. I experience a soothing sensation of nirvana. A wide smirk smears across my face. I close my eyes to shelter them against the wind. Nothingness engulfs me momentarily and I’m detached from everything and everyone. Black. Empty. Serene. I like that.

 

I open my eyes and look up. Street lamps pass in successions. One by one. All identical. The light isn’t glaring, it’s soft on my eyes. And I like that.

 

I slowly lower my gaze, and stare off into the horizon.  A humongous matte white cloud drifts slowly in the sky. Ashened by the dark of the night, it looks like cotton dipped in light coffee. I cover miles on the road, but the cloud doesn’t seem to budge. I don’t imagine fancy shapes in it. I never see anything. I just continue to stare and admire the beauty in it’s simplicity. I like that.

 

A song rings in my ear which is in perfect resonance with my situation. I hum the song and mouth the words. I leave everything behind, pushed off to the back of my head.

 

I’m going too fast. My longing for that feeling seems to be longer that the moment itself. A tiny snippet of pleasure that is barely satisfying. I wish it could slow down. I wish the road was endless and the moment timeless. But would all that still make it priceless?

The Tightrope Walker

Parched was his throat,

and his stomach funnily growled,

the sound of which was drowned,

in the pandemonium of the crowd.

 

His feet started to tremble,

the sun too strong on his slender body.

He couldn’t do this anymore,

walking on this thin rope high up in the air.

 

He pleaded with his eyes,

but a glare from his master silenced him, perhaps forever.

 

One more step and he felt light, his body floating through the air,

one last thud, and he smiled, his sorrows over for a lifetime.