Stranded

The sun kissed clouds huddled in the open windless sky. Tints of purple and red were splashed in an uneven fashion all across the firmament calling forth wonder and amazement at the magnificence of its Creator. From a tall structure in the middle of a city a mellow part of the setting sun was visible beneath the far away mountains veiled in parts by the tall cement towers and a few trees.

Below, the city streets were increasingly coming alive with the artificial lights of the houses, shops and passing traffic. Everything on this part of the Earth was demonstrating its supreme liveliness by way of some activity and incessant clamour. Even the little birds nested among the drooping branches were crying out with amazing vigour as they struggled to get a mouthful of the dead worms brought home by the older ones.

The hawkers yelling along the streets enticing the crowd with their merchandise, the brightly lit shops teeming with customers, horde of uninteresting tired people chatting away on cell phones or walking on the shining tar crusted street, the never-ending honking of unyielding vehicles, the clanking of pots and pans or a blaring song on TV in beautiful furniture crammed houses, infused the ambiance with a sadistic energy.

Hidden amid this forest of civilization Paras looked out at the dark sky from his humble shelter. The din of the city hurt his ears and he pressed his hands tightly over them and closed his eyes. He imagined the different sounds travelling in a single line getting louder and louder till they reached a crescendo and exploded into soft little mute flowers all around him and he was transported to a solitary landscape devoid of human presence.

He opened his eyes and set out to look for a solitary spot at the outskirts of the city. He knew where he was heading. At the outermost part of the city along the creek laden with factories was a small patch of secluded land, which served as an unusual rendezvous point in his youth. He treaded past the clamour and the crowd oblivious to everything. The pregnant moon had already risen and coupled with a slight breeze that was now flowing and the sun well below the horizon, the weather grew cool and dreamy. He gazed at the moon with eyes swollen and red. The moon looked beautifully large and bright and illumined the clouds around it which concealed it from time to time as they rolled in the wind.

He sighed and walked further till the verdure and the crowd thinned, opening out into a barren patch of untended land beside the creek. At the other edge of the creek shedding their reflection in the water stood the tall drab factories enveloped by a dull yellow light and smog. Far away along the wide highways heavy vehicles travelled heartlessly. Paras stood with a heavy heart looking at the bright reflections in the silver rippling water.

Away from the maddening city Paras had come to this quiet place to ease his pain. He had come here to seek his beloved through his memories of togetherness. Many a times he had met her here in the quiet of the setting sun. Many a twilight he had spent here with his beloved; at that hour when nature instills loneliness in tender hearts. It was here they met and parted every day, and it was here he had again come to seek her, well knowing that she would never arrive. Even then he lingered, enlivening the memories.

It was twilight again and there was just loneliness.

He trembled and let out a moan as he closed his tearful eyes. Maybe that is why he came here at twilight. He wished the pain that intensified at this hour could kill him at this place. But fate decided otherwise. Tears flowed freely from his eyes as he opened them. Just then he saw a radiant figure standing before him smiling, a smile he treasured. Tears welled up afresh in his moist eyes and his lips parted to reveal a faint smile.

From far away a passing truck with big bright headlights illumined the place for a brief second when one could have seen a lonely man stranded on a solitary spot by the creek smiling through his tears.

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