• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 01
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A Regular Morning

It’s not like I do not want to let go of it;
Thing is, it won’t ever let go of me.

The town I live in is small and unidentifiable, and I live in one of the many unidentifiable houses that line up its streets. The garden is overgrown and under maintained. There is a Gulmohar tree that juts out just in front of the main-gate – its flowers blooming like golden embers on a cold spring morning. It brightens my spirit every morning, before the harsh light of the day stings my heart again.

She knocks on the door. I expect it every morning, her smile a beam of freshness in otherwise dreary days. “You will have coffee or tea”, she asks. “Coffee, please. That would be great”, I say as I get up. The Gulmohar looks radiant as it peeks through my bedroom window, inviolated by time and age. I pull up my crutch, as I get out of my bed.

I look out from the window. The school bus has arrived and there is the regular hustle and bustle of schoolchildren peppered with sharp reprimands of elders. The newspaper wallah is on his regular morning route. He looks up at me, and I blink. He does that all the time, and every time he catches me by surprise. I pull down the curtains and sit on the chair beside my bed.

She knocks on the door. “Come in”, I say. She pours the coffee and places the sugar tray and the newspaper beside it. “What will you have for breakfast”, she asks. “Get me an omelet Neeta. I don’t have much of an appetite today”. “Omelet for you then”, she smiles, and gingerly walks out closing the door.


A Regular Morning

I sip the coffee as the newspaper sits like an uninvited guest on the table. It’s been years since I read one, and it always amuses me to see one sitting right across me with the expectation that today will be different.

The coffee over, I get up to dress before Neeta comes in with the breakfast. I work in the local post office. The work is not much and it distracts me from an otherwise mundane day. The bureaucracy actually works sometimes, and finds you a job that does not bore you. Dressing up is my favorite activity of the day, and I delight in choosing a different tone everyday. Come to think of it, in another time and age my dress would have been the same everyday. Combat formals.

Neeta comes in with the breakfast. I don’t feel hungry anymore. “I won’t be having breakfast today”, I say as I walk out for work. “Sir”, she screams as I walk down the stairs. I look back alarmed. “You’ve forgotten you gloves”, she says. I pull out the blue one from the wall.

The war leaves you with a scarred heart and sometimes a pair of burnt hands.