Monday, August 12, 2013


It's almost evening.

The river rages relentlessly, its water white, its roar deafening.  

It's a normal world not too far from here. 

People must have gone to work, worked hard throughout, tired by the end of the day. It must be someone's first day at work, and they must have been excited about it. Someone must have gotten their first salary, and they must have been ecstatic. Someone must have been fired from their jobs for no fault of theirs. Someone must have gotten a raise or a promotion, and they must have felt really proud.

But here, here was different. Time didn't seem to move so quickly as it did out there, in the normal world. I have been sitting here since morning. I like doing that.

Children must have gone to schools, and their teachers must have taught them, about the world. There must have been exams for some of them, and some must have done really well. Meanwhile, a few others have not cared about their results. They will show the world their potential one day. One day. Or at least that's what they would like to believe. 

I had never been here before, here, isolated, not a soul for as far as eye could see, except birds, trees, and the River.

Someone must have met someone and must have been bowled over. Someone must have told how they felt about the person they loved, for the first time. Someone must have had a big fight with their partner, and must have said things which cannot be unsaid, and it must have gone irreparably wrong. Someone must have asked their partners to marry them, and their partners must have said 'yes', overwhelmed.

Someone must have gotten married today, to someone they deeply care about, with a promise to be together for life. Someone must have filed for a divorce today because it just wouldn't work. Some happy couples must have had a baby today, and they must have been feeling joyous. They must be thinking about doing their best, and giving their children the best possible future. Someone must have died. Their loved ones must have mourned, and remembered their legacy.

It happened when the moon and the sun were in the sky together. I saw smoke rising from distance, that dragged me out of my stupor. I started walking towards it first, and then running. I started to feel out of breath soon but I keep going. It looked bad.

As I began approaching it, I saw a burning hut, engulfed in high flames. There was hardly anything I could have done to save it, it was too late. A middle-aged uncouth man stood beside it, looking at it, smiling, naked. I stood stunned for a while, then I went closer and I frantically asked, shouting at the top of my voice to make myself heard above the din, "What are you doing?"

He looked at me, hardly surprised at seeing another person there. He didn't need to shout to make himself heard, and calmly said, "I lived in this hut for several years. This, and everything inside, is all I had come to have over the years. I burnt it."


As if I didn't see the obvious, he replied, "Now I have nothing to lose. I am free."

I couldn't think of anything to say.

A stream of water rose from the river, and started flowing mid-air towards us with an intimidating force. I didn't have much time to react. The stream flowing along its serpentine path, drowned the hut and the man. I remained untouched by water, and could hardly see or make sense of anything in all the chaos. In a flash, the stream receded, the river flowed as usual, the hut and the man disappeared.

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