Saturday, March 6, 2010

He is listening to the sound of water. The waves are tiny yet full of jest. The fishermen have their net unfolded, milkmen are there with the herd of cattle, and crops have all enveloped the circular pond. The view from the small bridge is distinct. It unearths nostalgia on one hand and brings the much needed calm on the other. Every time he is on vacation, a visit towards the pool side is a regular feature in his schedule. The passage from bridge towards fields is narrow, raw and with out any sign of concrete. The sand-laced pavement with mixed imprints of animal, machinery and men is not unusual nor any special, unless you compare it to some crowded urban road named after some somebody who nobody cares about, until he brings the personal equation he shares with the passage.
The association with the passage goes way back. He would come with fellow fraudsters sometimes to play in that only field(disputed) left barren, sometimes to run along the fields in the hope to beat them some day and sometimes to just sit along the railway track and to experience the thrill of deafening sound and sheer speed of the passing trains. The railway track had bifurcated the village nicely into two halves; one containing homes, shops, ponds and temples and the other just fields: wheat fields, mustard fields, carrot fields, onion fields, all types of fields.

The passage has played a mute friend and an encouraging patron from time to time and on need to need basis. The first memory he has of the passage, still brings that magic smile on his face, when the entire group with an average age of 9 years would strip down their shorts to wave off the trains passing by. It had become a ritual, to strip down and run in the passage simultaneously, until one of the live audiences turned out to be one of the fathers.

Not all in the community preferred this side of the world, unless one had some field commitment or one is slightly educated and thus employed and therefore just to alienate oneself from the rest, would one come here. But it was neither the field job nor the aloof air that were instrumental in forming the robust bond he had with the pavement. Everything happens for a reason but still something in life just happens and his camaraderie with the passage was with out any motive. When he would visit it in summer he would ask, "Ain't I the best athlete around?". Tell me "I am going to win this time"

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