The wind has been blowing swiftly through the meadows with whoosh. If one listens to it, it may feel like noise. If you close your eyes, leave the senses except for hearing, you’ll feel the music. You’ll feel you’re lighter than a feather, swaying in the wind unknown of its landing. The tree stood there rigid, calm and seasoned. It has been enduring the seasons, the harsh weather, the rage and love of nature. Seasons had come and gone, the surroundings have changed but the tree stood there witnessing these. It had no comments and will have none. It has nothing to express to anyone except for the wind which has been its constant companion. As usual the wind carried one of the tree’s leaves and landed it on the footpath of a busy city street.
People walked past it in haste and careful enough not to run into one another. The cars honked and filled up the congested roads. By the footpath a famous Hindi song is emanating from a busy tiffins shop. The cook unloaded a big bowl of hot samosas into the shelf that displayed them. The songs, the sounds of delicacies frying in the oil, the usual banter of the customers filled this place. It is like this for two hours or so and the place calms down. This repeats in the evening when people come for snacking and gossiping.
She pushed the rug aside, got down on her feet, stretched her hands, bent her spine backwards and yawned satisfactorily. She’s tired from the last night’s ordeal. The same act she has been enacting since she started this, with little improvisation and adjustments as per the person. She’s not a big fan of monotony and routine. She seeks fresh everyday rarely being with the same person again. One would have to pay double the price if one seeks to be in her presence the second time. Her hair is unbraided and disheveled. She adjusted her Sari over her left shoulder and entered the washroom.
Her anklets made a rhythmic noise as she walked through the corridor with a flask in her hand. She loves her morning coffee. The women have been practicing dance amid laughter and banter. She wished a few of them while adjusting her disheveled hair into a bun at the back of her nape. The sandal smell of incense sticks filled the air. She took a long breathe and stepped into the street. A hundred heads turned as she walked on the footpath. The leaf that was on the footpath now landed on the windowsill of her room overlooking the street. She went to this tiffin shop and asked the vendor to fill the flask. He was very happy to see her and started the conversation.
“You look beautiful as always” he said sheepishly.
Used to this flattery she gave a dull smile and took the money from her blouse. Twenty heads straightened in the shop at this moment. She turned her head sideways and thrown a romantic smile at these people. Half of them come here in the morning for a coffee to have a look at her. For them she’s the goddess they wish to see every morning without fail. Her smile is the gift they have been longing for. She’s a luxury they can’t afford but a want they can’t resist. Their pockets can only afford a coffee which is an excuse for their presence at this particular time of the hour. She’s ethereal for many. She also followed her routine not to disappoint these people.
Five years ago she was a leaf which left the tree called village on high hopes of finding a livelihood in the city. She soon realized that the wind that brought her here was only a carrier of her fate but not her hopes. She found livelihood in a profession which raised eyebrows and is condescended. She realized many condemned her profession publicly but found solace in her lap privately. The world is full of masquerades she thought. She convinced herself to be transactional and hard to overcome the brutalities of life.
The leaf withered on the windowsill. One afternoon she came from the hospital devastated. The doctors diagnosed her of some virus. She can’t afford the medication and she could neither disclose this to her family. The leaf now found its way into the sewer and followed the destiny which is oblivious to it. She decided to take the matter into her own hands. She pondered how green she could have been if she stayed with the tree. But there is no point thinking about the past. She tied a sari to the ceiling fan and ended her life….. Her lifeless body is hanging from the ceiling. There will be no spring for her nor did the leaf.
From that day the tiffins shop saw fewer people in the morning. A green leaf landed near the shop with a hope……
— Sai Anvesh