Friday, February 11, 2011

The Man Walked On

89127721, Jean-Luc De Zorzi /Photographer's Choice
The man wore ordinary clothes... a pair of grey jeans and a nondescript shirt. A haversack was flung over his left shoulder. His shoes were old but of good taste. He carried with him a pungent smell of sweat and dirt, a smell of being a man.
The roads were almost empty. It was long past midnight. But this city never sleeps, so the occasional indifferent car would whiz by oblivious to the man and his path. The night was warm with a hint of a damp breeze. Monsoon was approaching; the first showers of the season would burst forth to embrace the longing of the thirsty earth, anytime.
The man walked, his pace neither slow, nor fast. He walked in a steady rhythm that perhaps matched the beats of his heart. He walked with a purpose shared by the breeze that spoke of the rains to come.
The wind that blows across the sea, also rages havoc in the desert. The wind belongs to no-where. It touches the soul of every speck of creation, but belongs to no-one. The wind cannot be possessed, neither can it own anyone. Perhaps the wind understands Love.
The man walked tirelessly. From time to time a cab would pass by, and on seeing the solitary figure walking on, would slow down in anticipation of a night passenger. Fares are always one and a half times more after midnight. But the man paid no heed, he just walked on.
The ink-blue sky was studded with a million stars tonight; some lonely, some clustered, all embracing infinity. Each may have had its tale to tell. Each may have sung its song a million times; and the notes may still be found floating somewhere in the universe. A whisper may have reached the man’s ears, for he paused for a moment, without any apparent reason. Were the stars talking to him? Well, that was for him to choose, and not the stars. But the strange note that had reached his ears and caused him to pause, must have been Love.
Silence held a blanket over the streets he traversed. A deep blanket which the faraway sound of a passing train could not penetrate. There were hungry children of the night and their cries seemed to stir the soul of silence. The silence spoke to the man and told him to open the chains that bound him. It told the man that he was free to choose his own destiny. The Silence must have spoken the language of Love.
When the first rays of dawn tentatively caressed the sleeping earth to wake it tenderly, the man was sitting on a bench in the pavement. He had placed his haversack next to him. The Sun’s rays touched him with the same devotion that it touched every blade of grass. The man felt a profound joy within. Somewhere in that touch, there must have been Love.

 He was hungry. Across the lane, an early vendor was setting up his makeshift shop on a wooden platform on wheels. He sold peanuts and tea and biscuits to early morning walkers. The man waited till the shop was set up, the kettle was placed on the fire. He ordered some tea and biscuits and gazed in anticipation as the water started to boil. The vendor poured him a steaming cup and gently handed it to him with a smile. The man reached into his pockets and held out some coins, and returned the smile. They talked of the impending rains and cricket scores. The man refreshed his body and mind with the humble cup of sweet spicy tea, and a couple of home-made wheat biscuits. Perhaps he tasted the labour of love.
The sun shone brighter now. The city woke up to a flurry of activities. The tea vendor watched as the man, with careful precision flung his haversack over his left shoulder and began to walk. He wondered idly who the man was. He did not look or dress like any of the early morning walkers he knew. Where was he going? Perhaps he was going home. Or perhaps he had left his home for some other destination.
A young girl cycling by in shorts and T-shirt looked at the man. She found him attractive, he reminded her of a lover she once had. Perhaps this man had a lover.
The man walked on the side-walk. There were other pedestrians now. They were rushing by; each had a chore or task to attend to. Each was buried in his thoughts. The man let them overtake him. He knew his pace, he knew his city.
That day there were twenty cases of rapes, fifteen murders, and thirteen accidents in the city.

There were also infinite gestures of love, some visible to the eye, others visible to the soul.
And the man, the ordinary man, who may have been just about any man anyone ever knew, kept walking on. His story, after all, is the pivot around which the history of the universe revolves. So somewhere in that story, there must have been love.


  1. so descriptive!
    I love it Just...
    keep up the writing.

  2. sorry bout the text on the chapters I posted...they were much better before I copied and pasted..they got all jammed was spaced out and indented and all before I pasted it.
    I was too lazy to fix it.
    but thank you much for your comment.

  3. I absolutely loved this story. I'm looking forward to reading through your entire blog.