It was early morning. Well, it was just 7:00 am…not essentially early. But for me, it is. After ceaseless minutes of snoring or so I am told by few close human beings, I opened my eyes. The orange curtains flashed in the view which were pulled over a window letting the wind impishly enter into the flat. I doubted the orange color. I wondered whether they were white primarily, and over the time, the rigid street lamp tipped its orange incandescent light and turned them into the ugly one…either ways. The light still annoyed me. So I closed my eyes again and tried to sleep, but the time was ticking off…so I had to open them again. New day….new memories…not necessarily in my favor, but I still had to get up…I hated this fact to such a level that I even overlooked that this was a blessing…to be able to be up every morning…healthy…the fact that I won’t reach office in time or rather to reach office itself made me sigh…out casting all other perks of being alive which I took for granted…

But it was not the only orange light and the lifeless curtains that woke me up…a regular cry…of a boy…his wordings “bye”.The ground floor apparently had a family…being in Bangalore, its pretty clear why I am saying apparently…a school boy… 12-year-old perhaps…I have never perceived his face…and I am not that good at visualizing faces based on the voices…but still I feel he might have an oval face, lumpy cheeks allowing his words to progress with a certain ear-deafening frequency that woke me up even from my finest dreams…well…not that finest…And I speculated that his “bye” had become so noteworthy that it had become a part of my regular routine. It wasn’t like an alarm but it meant I had to get up. Nonetheless, I would still lay in the bed…thinking about his guiltless act…his transient feeling which, one day, will turn into something else.
I knew that his “Bye” won’t be heard on the weekends. He might not get up so early-even for playing. But that’s not what I feared. One day, he will grow up. One day, he will feel the stigmatized stupidity attributed to his act by the society. And his ‘bye’ will disappear and so will his innocence. His untainted feelings which he will mask…and his “Bye” will be a walk-down-the-memory-lane for his parents and grandparents…they will talk about it in front of his wife…over a cup of evening tea…leaving him uncomfortable…but somewhere within, making him realize the pleasantness of the whole act…

His bye was usually responded by his mother or grandmother. Or so I thought, as it was a satisfactory “bye”…the father would be busy accelerating the gear of the scooter and urging the son to hurry up and be enough with the nonsense…but the female knew her child. It was a part of her own body for nine months…of course she knew how necessary it was to reply his “bye” over her husband’s chaos…and the child made sure he heard it before he hopped on the seat of the vehicle. She would watch the sight till the vehicle would disappear leaving the tar road full of smoke…

But that day, the son didn’t come back. And I never heard his bye again! And there are never worthy explanations for such events Why he? Why so early in the course of life? Could have been alive if he never had left for school that day…. limitless thoughts to pacify the unjustified events. The mind, relentless, trying desperately to settle over one reason and be content with. But who has time to spend for a person’s life, let alone to moan for a lost one. Mother, left with no choice, grows strong There are bills to be paid, hungry stomachs to be fed and forgetting becomes a worthy gift. Few sleepless months and all you have are tear-stained photo albums. Evolution? Adaptation? Who knows.but I never heard his “bye” again.
Now I get up and stare at the orange curtains…constrict my sleepy eyes as the sunlight strikes….I hear the news channel flooding the daily news…I hear the pigeons squeaking, their wings scraping against the concrete crevices…few dogs barking…probably towards a drunkard or a beggar or both who was still fallen somewhere…or a chanting of a stotra from a nearby temple…I even smell the fresh Mogra which the florist has on his delivery cart, ready for the fresh morning…but I crave for that one “Bye”..which is now extinct…I stare at my phone.. screen flashes 7:30 am against a background of still pond…late for work…and with a sigh, I push down the blanket and hurry for brush.


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