The Street

streetlife

The dawn rose and my eyes adjusted to the view, from bokeh to bright, as the sun sprinkled a golden filter across the street. Who were these people, so immersed in their preoccupations, chasing life, their hopes and anxieties all closed to me?
Do they have a special pocket in their briefcases, one in which they ensconce their dreams? Do they ever think about home, or are they happy to get by just like me, meeting new people, gleaning stories?
Who live in the thatched cottages on the mountaintop? Do they savour the sunrise and sunset as much as the tourists? Do they ever look out their windows and watch me on this bench where I sleep?
Who is the owner of the antique trinket shop? Does he know who carved the wooden camel so painstakingly?
What is the tale of this bustling anecdotal street?

I started from home with little more than an intrepid spirit and a guitar. Today, I have a bag full of memories; they can’t be distilled into a single photograph or diary entry. 

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The Spectator

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Yesterday Sam stopped by. I have known him for a long time. He used to sit by me everyday, sometimes alone, sometimes with his wife Martha and son James. James. I couldn’t know him long enough. “Slow down,” Martha used to say. “Or you will get hurt.”  They had fun playing together. How years swooshed by! When James was older, he would often drop by and spend hours with me. I heard chuckles, sobs, silence. Then one day he brought a guest. He had never brought anyone here before Navin. They held hands and gazed at the stars for hours. They held hands the same way Sam and Martha did. If only Sam understood this. “You look just like him,” Navin had said, pointing at Sam’s wide grin as James showed him a family picture. He wasn’t a guest anymore.

A few years whooshed by like they usually do, and James and Navin brought a new visitor with them this time – their daughter Sur. They loved picnics, especially the ones with grandma Martha. My branch of memories is ripe with merry ones but the one with Navin fussing over Sur, James telling him to calm down, them lovingly bickering, remains my favourite to this day.

Sometimes I find myself sneaking a peek at the house across the park which used to be my favourite home. For a long time, no one has visited. Time has neither swooshed nor whooshed, it stutters and clambers, as if chasing its normal pace. But yesterday Sam stopped by. He just sat here quietly and scanned the pinpricked  sky with a regret in his eyes, searching as if for the one star that resembled him.