Thirty-five

Mom’s talking to Veda Aunty, over her tiny white phone while the tv is on, to the empty hallroom. I hear my dad pouring over him mugs of warm water in the bathroom. And then I hear of the insects chirping of some sort. And I blink my eyes in wonder! Why do I hear them during the nights only? And where do they go the rest of the time? Why do they play hide and seek? Why have I only heard of their noise ‘Chur Chur’ and never really seen them? What are they called as and how do they look like?

Isn’t it unusual to know that there’s something out there but we still don’t make any effort to go find them out.
It’s a beautiful night and I wouldn’t want doubts. There’s the sky full of stars and ground full of fireflies, twinkling. The air is damp and there is silence. There aren’t many things seen at this time except for the soft lamp light. In sometime, everyone’s going to go asleep and the world will come into rest, entirely. Some might still be up, not having a good night. The nights for them might be terrifying because of the things they have had to go through during the day. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I pray to God before going to bed. For having given me a wonderful day and now letting me glide into a peaceful sleep. Over the years I’ve got only two words to God, two words of gratitude – ‘Thank you’. Because asking him for anything wouldn’t do much help. His GPS is different from that of ours. Because the boys I used to have crush on in my school are asking me out now. The gap is real vast. So if you ask him for anything on this day, you’ll probably have to wait for longer than you can imagine, because it’s never going to happen anytime soon. But yeah, ‘thank you’ is necessary. We have a family of four living just after our farm, on the mound, passing days under a weak roof which might fall off anytime. They don’t have electricity, their kids read and play in lamp light. They don’t have an woollen bedspread to have themselves curled on a rainy day or a chilled wintry night. They don’t have a fan running above them on a searing summer noon. Having seen this, I wouldn’t want to compare myself with a girl who comes from a high class family when there are people that hardly has any clothes to wear. But they remind me so much of my own family. The family of four, with two children – brother and sister. It’s just that we have a pretty bigger house and nicer clothes. The kids play hopscotch on their frontyrd when the sun goes down, just like how my brother and I used to. When we have our tv on, they’ll have their radio. Sesi, housewife of that family gives mom brinjals and beans sometimes which mom accepts for the sake of and once she gets inside, she checks on it’s hygiene. But when my mom has something to offer to sesi; our old clothes or food, sesi accepts them with gratitude. My mom tries hard to avoid entering into their yard. When we were little and would ask her why, she’d say that the surroundings of their house stink because they don’t have a toilet for defecation and they do it just above their house, in the mound. However, they’ve been another nearest but far house that we have, who we could use the term neighbour on.

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