The watchman is melting in the May heat. He sees me passing by, licking my ice candy with obvious pleasure. He smacks his lips. I pause. I pull out the other candy from my bag, the one I had planned to have in the comfort of my home, and offer it to him. He flashes me a wide smile – wide enough to fit two ice candies. It’s my turn to melt.
He loved her to this day. Three years after she had passed away. Then, they were soulmates. Now, what are they? Soul-mates?
Have you held a baby sparrow? I have, or rather, needed to some days ago.
I was returning from my morning walk / jog, back into my complex, when I noticed this tiny critter near the barred gutter. A little wind, and he / she would have got blown into the gutter. If he / she (instead of continuing with he / she – and he / she was too small to make out the gender – I think I’ll just call him / her ‘Harrow’: you know, harrowed sparrow) remained there, Harrow would have been in the direct line of the stationed scooter on its way out from its parking spot. Of course, before these eventualities, there is the tiny matter of this tiny critter just being squashed by an unseeing foot.
I bent down, picked up Harrow, and placed Harrow on my palm. Harrow sounded scared to the marrow. Some part of H seemed bent or broken – beak, wing, leg – but I just couldn’t make out due to H’s tiny size. But what H lacked in size and skill, H made up in survival instinct. H jabbed at my hands, more like a couple of fingers, with all the miniscule might of H’s beak. It felt like lightly squeezing the end of a couple of staples. H also either tried to gain balance on my palm, or was trying to squash it, and that felt like squeezing four of those staples. I was trying to see this from H’s perspective: to H, me, or just my hand, would have seemed as big as the universe.
Not wanting to scare H anymore, as I obviously wasn’t able to reassure H that I was trying to help, I placed H behind a small projection of the wall, hopefully out of harm’s way. I noticed an adult male sparrow on a CCTV camera, and felt the minutest bit of reassurance: hopefully, Adult would come to Harrow’s aid. I left soon after, not wanting to put any more distance between point A and point H.
The next morning, remembering Harrow’s plight, I went to the spot to see if by any chance, H was still there. He wasn’t. Any of Adult, gutter, scooter, or any of a baby’s sparrow’s million enemies could have gotten to H. Whatever, but in H’s short span on earth, Harrow could say he / she had seen the universe.
Unlike most divorces, this wasn’t ugly. He got custody of his beautiful six-year-old.
He never wanted to sail on the relation-ship again.
Years of rubbing the sandal and turmeric paste to eclipse her eclipse-hued complexion, today, she finally found results. Vitiligo.
You don’t drink?
You don’t smoke?
You don’t have non-vegan?
And you’re going to Goa?
Wow, what will you do there for fun?