Saturday, July 10, 2010


I was walking down the street the other day. As absentminded as I have become, I had forgotten to wear my specs. Well with just -0.50 power in my left eye and -0.75 in my right, I have a nearly perfect vision. But the only problem is that the faces of the people a little away from me appear as if though a translucent glass window. This street by the way , at the time I was walking , becomes extremely colourful. Literally and not literally. In the morning, that is the time when I was walking , the morning bazaar operates in full strength. The make-do shops eat their way into the street in a way which makes it impossible to walk straight. It's like concentric circles, it starts with the vegetable jhuris , that get surrounded by the wayward onions and potatoes that roll off and in a way increase the property area of the sabji ola. Then that gets surrounded by the morning risers that come to buy their daily ration and finally this concentric formation gets fortified by the cycles that these morning risers bring and carelessly park. With the fortification and all, the make do shop reaches the middle of the street. Walking down absentmindedly, the hub of the haggling buyers and sellers and enthusiastic advertisers and morning greetings all gets stirred into a hum.

I was walking down the street the other day. As absentminded as I have become, I had forgotten to wear my specs. As I walked ahead, like a movie camera focusing on random faces to create a prologue to an approaching danger, random faces caught my eye. Only the faces were not random and all I could see of the faces were their eyes. When they met mine they said the same thing, " I have seen it too."

As my eyes shot from one pair to another pair of eyes they echoed the same thing ... "I have seen it too."

I squinted. How did they know that it was chasing me ? No wait, how did I know it was chasing me? I think I read it in their eyes. In their eyes, "it" said to me, "he saw me in his cousin who ran away with a boy of a lower caste", or "she saw me in her son who could not come home because the train left the tracks" or "she saw me when her best friend felt that anti depressant pills were not working." and the stories went on and on. And then in the time space when I was ricocheting from one pair of eyes to another, out of nowhere it said " and I am coming for you..."

A loud honk. I jerked back in reflex and the Auto which came from nowhere missed me by a millimeter.

"Dekhe cholben toh didi "

It was not a near death incident before which I had a premonition of it. It was a coincident. If the auto had hit me, it would be an accident and nothing more. But no matter how much I utilize my rationality, I still feel that day, I met Death. In person and not in action.

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