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SPOKES (standard:drama, 541 words)
Author: MehulAdded: May 03 2002Views/Reads: 2114/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)

A pattering sound came from behind, and with it a regular thudding could
be heard. The whirr and creak of the chain on the wheel could be heard 
distinctly, intermingling with the sweet chirping of the birds, the 
fresh early morning air, and the soft, gentle breeze blowing in from 
the window. I don't know why, maybe he didn't want to oil it, but 
that's how he had been for the past fiftenn years, for me at least, and 
lots of others before that. White crinkly moustache, the same old khadi 
kurta and white pyjama, and the regular chappals. The same frail metal 
structure beneath him, the wheels, the creaking chain, the sounds, that 
was his bicycle. A small cane basket in front of the handlebars, filled 
to the brim with newspapers, ready to be delivered. 

Lazing on my bed each day before school, I would wait for the morning
silence to be broken by the bell on his cycle, and the back wheel 
emenating all those fascinating sounds. I would wait for the familiar, 
“Namaste Ram bhaiya!” from Minku the ‘presswala' opposite my house, and 
then the newspaper would land with a thud, always on my front porch. 
Fifteen years and he never missed. Sometimes I really wondered whether 
he could beat my uncle Ashok at darts! Anyway, the cycle used to come 
and go, and I developed a certain fondness for those two minutes when 
his world would come passing by, mixing with mine, just for those two 
minutes each day. Life is full of small things, which matter so much, 
all the time. Together, they constitute the wholeness of my life, 
however insignificant they might be. This was one of them. 

My day comes and goes, and I forget what I like. School, marks, friends,
cricket, lunch, sleep, the sun burning down, and then the evening. The 
birds are back, but I don't remember. Never. I sleep. A life comes and 

Awake. The chirping is there. Fresh morning smell. My room is dark, with
a few rays of early morining light drifting in. I wait. A rumbling van 
passes by. Confused, I sit up. 

In my dad's car, on my way to school, something's missing. The
sweeper-women clean the side-walks, the road is black as usual and the 
smoke from the exhaust pipes of many cars still rises. We stop at a red 
light. I feel incomplete. My day hasn't begun yet, or has it? The 
bicycle was old, he was old, could it? No. Not so fast. My day comes 
and goes again. I do remember. This small thing stays. I haven't read 
the book, but I've seen it lying on my mother's shelf - ‘The God of 
small Things' by Arundhati Roy. The god of my small things. His small 
things? What about them? And his big things? Like his existence. 

‘Thud!'. The newspaper lands. I leap out of bed like a firecracker and
rush to the door. The presswala is pressing, straight ahead. Left - the 
back wheel moves with a pattering sound along with a regular thudding. 
The chain whirrs and creaks. The bell tinkles. He's still there, the 
khadi kurta and the white hair. I smile. Another chapter in my life 


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