A ray of light hits my eye as i awaken everyday to stare at the unpolished and dirty glass window in front of me. My only means of entertainment everyday is watching people stroll the street. Observing them. Studying them. Scrutinizing their behaviour. Contemplating their thoughts. Over the one month that i’ve been here, I was able to learn a lot. There’s the hunch backed lady who passes by everyday to sneak a glance at the undoubtedly overpriced necklace kept beside me. The office guy with a handlebar-mustache, bulged briefcase, and turtle solid black waist coat, hurrying by everyday to catch the subway train probably. A mother with a worn-out face, fatigue crushing over her probably due to all the years of cumbersome workload she bore, which anyone can realize if they took a moment to look at her face and her wearied hands, guiding her troublesome daughter who puts up a racket to go to school.
Then there is the boy. I observe everyone thoroughly. But there are always exceptions. He is probably 12 years old, average height but profusely malnourished with his skin clinging on to his bones with the help of hardly any muscles. If it were not for his face, i would have never given him a third look. His face is his most, or even the only, striking feature. It radiates humility and kindness. It glows with jubilation and curiosity. It is virtually decapitated from his frail and pale body. And it transcends every other image into becoming a blurry background. He is always accompanied by his dog, wagging its tail, looking as pathetic in appearance as its owner, but as content as a cow in a clover. Looking at the happy couple can cheer anyone up, granted they took a few moments out of their engaged and accustomed lives to glance at the outside world.
I know not why, but the boy always comes close up the window and stares longingly and lovingly. Briefly for a second or two, i see sadness in his eyes. Sadness, languish and years of rugged paths that he had to bear with, and questions. So many questions to which he hadn’t found the answers to yet. It is only for a period of twenty seconds. Then he is gone again with the wind-literally-bouncing up and down with his backpack open at the back, one thin note visible inside.
It was just like any other day. The usual faces and thoughts running here and there. Midst it all, appeared that face again. This time accompanied not with his tiger’s face(That’s what he called his pet).No, this one was similar to the boy’s, but much older, and wan. The struggles and debacles were visibly portrayed on his face. Despite his misgivings, there was nothing but love and endearment in the father’s eyes for his son. It was obvious that he would go to any lengths that he could to ensure that his son had all the basic amenities of life. Today the boy was wearing relatively genteel clothes. Like every other day, he stood in front of the mirror. This time there was only elation booming from his face, all the longing had vanished. He lifted his frail hand and pointed right at me, and then looked up at his father expectantly. His father gave him a nod, only to be suffocated by his son’s hug. For the first time in over a month, i was lifted off my spot.
After paying the bargain-able cashier, i was taken off to a new home. Every dog needs to be taken for a walk. Every toy needs to be played with. Every book needs to be read. And, every sock need to be worn. It is our life destiny to offer comfort and warmth to the most fragile and utilized part of a human body-their feet. And i knew the boy, would take care of me as if i were his prized possession.
For the first time i heard his mom call out his name in their home. Amir. Everyday at exatly 7:30 in the morning i would be taken off the rack, worn with care, and encompassed by my pal, Amir’s shoe. I never knew the places that he went to, the sights that he witnessed, the people that he conversed with. But everyday in the evening, i would be awakened by the sounds of monotonous bells-later i learned it to be temple bells. Not one day do i recall when i wasn’t taken to the temple. And sights there were magnificent beyond words. Being caged in windows my entire life, I never had the chance to experience such majestic sights. The crest of the temple was so high that it was far beyond my eyesight. It rose like an audacious mountain. The people here were never in a hurry. They came here to devote few minutes of their time and they did it with reverence. There an enormously huge black-skinned creature with a long tube for a nose. Strangely, nobody was scared of the monster. In fact, they all went so close to it that it was able to hit them hard with its nose, but these enigmatic people simply walk away with a smile and pride.
The thing i loved the about the place was the atmosphere. Enclosed by serenity and stillness. People always keep running,never looking back, not even to see the people that we’ve brought down. Stillness is a word that has long lost its usage. But with such places, once in a while, they stop to take a deep breath, inhaling calm and genteel quietness whilst exhaling their stress and pressure.
I watched the process of metamorphosis, where boy grew from a young lad, to an obedient teenager, and finally unfold into a beautiful man with his wings that took him from being a paid worker at an industry mill into an employer owning a mill. He transgressed many obstacles thrown at him. But whatever happened, the boy was always respectful towards his parents. Not once have i seen him show contempt towards them. After his parents died, a part of him went away with them. The part of him which contained happiness, that unmistakable curiosity and brimming with questions. Time healed him the best it could. For 28 years i stayed at his feet, content and happy. But one day, a year after his parents demise, he took out a carton and threw in all the old and antique things into it to be kept in the attic. When he took me, for a short while i saw hope in this eyes. I saw him recollect the day he got his birthday wish fulfilled. Before the smile on his lips could attain their form, he kissed me fervently and threw me along with all the other stuff and safely locked us up.
What’s great about life is not that it goes on, but that it ends. Anything immortal becomes immoral. That doesn’t mean one has to wait for their end. It is eventually going to arrive at your doorstep. But when you open the door, you should not feel scared or run away. You should feel content with all your achievements and joy in life and welcome it with acceptance.
“There is no fear in dying. There is only fear in the fear of dying”