He sits alone by the window. Rendered spouse-less in a recent accident, he has his own private grief to tackle. His former social club doesn’t interest him anymore, what with its recent spate of over enthusiastic members. They keep telling him to take it easy, the fools. As if life was only an ongoing succession of pointless nights spent hooting your heart away. That is another thing though. He misses hooting out to his wife when she would sit by him in the moonlight.
Inside the window is another world. It leads to what looks like a steel giant but apparently, girls walk up to it with empty water bottles. He can see the corridor lit up well into the night, its eerie glow enough to give him the willies. The girls walk past with notebooks and laptops, bowls with Maggi noodles and eyes full of sleep. She used to say his eyes looked perennially sleepy, his wife did. She was a mischievous one, a trick always up her sleeve. He still remembered the time she had scared the girl in the corner room. “Big eyes of solid gold! An evil written all over!” the young lady announced to everyone who bothered to listen the next morning.
He has no clue why his tribe has acquired the “evil” reputation. Surely there are other nocturnal animals – why, what about the jet black bat that hung upside down from barren trees? He prided himself, at a time, in being the jungle’s advisor in trouble. His big eyes and weighed communication made him very sought out when some animals got into say, territorial trouble. He would nod his big head and say “Now, this is a problem we can solve using human insight.” “What!” the foolish ones would protest. “Those incarnations of the devil who destroy our homes!” “Your excitability will be the death of you.” he would hush them up. “Ever heard of the Land Acquisition Bill?”The audience would look on in awe.
Up here by the window, he can see the morning sun rising. He occasionally misses life in the jungle but then, without his wife, he hasn’t the heart to stay there. The foliage, the wilderness, the dark…they all remind him of how they would stay up all night and wonder about the world. They would go on cross-country trips – he had even brought her to the window he currently sat by. What he sees now isn’t too inspiring. Friends today turn enemies tomorrow, yes the very girls who stop by to say hello at the steel giant of a water cooler. Some of them say nasty things about each other, poking fun at the ones who keep to themselves. He oversees them copy assignments, steal credit, compete for a better paying job at the cost of what their life’s passion is. He ends his day sighing. And thinking about the times he would giggle at the baby rabbits playing around.
One of these days, he will be no more. He will probably droop off the windowsill, down the hills of Pune. Nothing will change in the world he once inhabited. But the kingdom of heaven would look forward to a reunion of love.