It was a hot summer afternoon. The sun shone upon the city. The traffic was maddening. Cars blared their horns. People stuck their heads out of the window and shouted. Many walked on the side of the road. Jostling by, seeing but not noticing. Hearing but not listening.
He just stood there on the foot-path. He was wearing the same clothes as he had, the night before. But, nobody saw that. He had a profound sense of gratitude about him. But, nobody felt that.
He had a wry smile across his face. He just stared across the street, looking at nothing in particular. He didn’t speak words. But, he talked.
She saw him from her seat in the car. She didn’t pay much attention. Then she noticed his wry smile. It looked like he was looking at something across the street. She tried to see what he saw. All she could see was space. Nothing out of the ordinary. She shrugged and moved on with the traffic.
He had noticed her. As she moved away, his smile vanished. He now had a blank expression on his face. He thought about the previous night. It was something. It had somehow come to him. It wasn’t about anything and yet it was all encompassing.
That is what he was seeing even now. It irked him a little that nobody else saw it. The woman in the car was the nth person.
It wasn’t over yet. It seemed incomplete. Then it happened again. Only this time it was more fierce.
And it ended just as abruptly as it had begun. But, it didn’t matter now. It would stay with him now. He realised then, that it was there always. And that it was up to them to open their eyes. It didn’t irk him anymore. The smile widened.
He walked on.
- Dhaval Shethia.