It is end of December and the wind of lucknow contains some extra chilliness… I was never an early riser in college but after entering in corporate world habits change very rapidly… I have to wake up early to insure that I will get the salary of that day by swapping my I-card before 9:30 am.
I have snoozed the alarm 3 times before getting my eyes half open…and my hand automatically searching something beside the pillow…my cigarette pack(some habits doesn’t changes even after entering in corporate life) …and WTF…it’s empty….
Last thing I want to go outside in this winter morning…but there is no other way I can satisfy my body’s demand of nicotine…so I have packed up myself in all the clothes that is available on the chair…2 or 3 sweaters, jeans, jacket…and the thing I hated most my mamma’s gift for the winter-monkey cap.
After 5 minute journey i reach to the tea corner.I have light up that 64 mm stick
(cigarette) and put my whole body in functioning mode…then I saw that same old lady, with the same belongings whom I am noticing since I have started to live in that PG..
A small torn tent near the bank of Gomti…same piece of clothes that certainly doesn’t stand in the category of clothes now…that broken steel pipe on which she take support to rest her weaker body….and rest thing can be easily found on any garbage full street . Whenever I pass by her she looks me … I found the emotion in her eye is somehow strange… fear, sorrow, hope or something undefined.
After 3 months I am used to of that view, whenever I stand on the tea corner…My eyes automatically start searching her…seems eyes want to ensure ...Whether kaki is still there or move on to somewhere else.
Many times I want to go near her and give her my old blanket which is now in no use for me…But never found the time or get another excuse for this.
It is 5th of January and I am very happy after spending the New Year eve with my college friends…and after those 2 days with my family at delhi. Life at its best…. Beer, friends, music and New Year eve. The bill of 3 thousand and some bucks first time didn’t bother me because now I have money of my own. At the evening ; I was sipping tea with the cigarette…at the only tea corner near my PG. suddenly my eyes start searching something…the old kaki … she is nowhere now…. Perhaps she moves away after all it is so cold now… a thought came up in my mind… I don’t know why I asked the shopkeeper about her…but the reply make me restless…
“she died…it’s so chilly here and even she didn’t have any blanket so she died on new year eve …the same time I was partying…I was paying some heavy amount of bucks for our beer…she died. The voice is echoing in my head “even she didn’t have any blanket”. Perhaps she will survive if I had given her blanket.
I am restless… I have light up another 64 mm stick and said to myself…its ok her time has come, I have nothing to do with this…but why I am restless even I don’t know.