Sunday, November 10, 2013

Starry Night

Her hands were on his cheek, his hands around her waist, as they lay there facing each other.

She was gently slapping him on his cheek. He, smiling, gripped her hand and tried to shove it away. She burst out laughing. She managed to free her hand and once again, continued with her playful slapping, him giving up and playing along with her this time, she unable to contain her laughter.

Their baby, comfortably nestled between them, had his sleep broken. She shushed him hurriedly, and began to caress her child. She felt a little guilty now as they lay there silently. Their child fell asleep once more.

He murmured something, she listened intently. She re-assured him, and gently caressed his cheek. He smiled. He was happy. She was starting to fall asleep. He carefully adjusted her head-rest. He kept looking at her with his folded hands below his head, unable to fall asleep.

He will have to find someplace else for his family to sleep tomorrow.

Adjacent to the ledge they slept on, a person tried to squeeze his bike into the last remaining gap in the small parking area there. A car honked and zipped past, narrowly avoiding the person coming towards it on a bicycle. The last few shops began to pull their shutters down. A young professional, carrying a bag-pack after a long, tiring day at work, stopped at the corner paan-shop for a cup of tea and a smoke. A group of friends stood beside the shop as they laughed at each others' stories about their day, each holding a cup of tea in one hand and a cigarette in the other. There was a queue of annoyed people at the nearby A.T.M., waiting to withdraw money and go about their lives. Across the street, a fat middle-aged man alongwith his two spriteful children, followed by his wife and his old mother, slowly walked towards their car in the parking-lot to get back home after having a sumptuous dinner at the near-by gourmet restaurant. A street-light flickered. The leaves on the road-side trees rustled in the soft, gentle breeze. The sky was clear, but stars were not visible. They twinkled somewhere, silently, alone.

None of it mattered.

[Based on an eye-witness episode.]