|SPOKES (standard:drama, 541 words)|
|Author: Mehul||Added: May 03 2002||Views/Reads: 2050/1||Story 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 goes. 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 closes. Tweet
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