An old man lives alone in a house. That’s how it has been for almost a decade and a half. With relatively lesser proof, I believe that I can stay alone for a long duration without feeling lonely. But I could be wrong, and a decade is a long time, especially when you think of it in terms of days. Many times, when I’m outside with friends or waiting for D to get home, I think about him and wonder, how does it feel to open the door of one’s home and not have someone waiting, knowing that this is something that will never change now? How does he cope?

Far away from him, a child is growing up. She is also far from what I’d call her homeland. Will she ever speak her mother tongue? Even if she does, will she be a cultural misfit in both the worlds she occupies? Circumstances haven’t been kind to her parents, hopefully things will look up sooner than later. But time waits for none, and one’s childhood leaves imprints that echoes through one’s life. The first section here is a testament to that. What does the future hold for her?

The world has changed for two children. I don’t know them, I knew their mother though. She was my age, and now she’s no more. The elder one probably gets a vague sense of the significance of the event. Reminds me of another child who went through this at roughly the same age. There will be a void, what will be its effect on their lives?

On New Year’s eve, when the world around had already begun its time honoured rituals of revelry, I got out of the office and started making my way to the cab that was waiting for me. I noticed a man walking in the middle of the road unsteadily. A cane and a bowl – a blind beggar. I guided him towards the footpath, but as I got into the cab, I noticed that he was now at an intersection and stepping on to the road again. Thankfully, a woman was on hand to help him cross the road. But how long would this go on? Did he have a home to go to? How would he get there? Did he do this everyday?

In all the above, I can probably attempt an intervention, that too in a couple. Even then, the scope of the intervention and its impact are limited. The helplessness disturbs me, and also makes me realise an uncomfortable truth – when one moves past the idea of God and cosmic justice and understands that all that’s to happen is in the hands of the self, and the randomness of circumstance (including the ones who will offer a shoulder to lean on), how does the concept of hope work?


On a related note, read this recently “Nature and history do not agree with our conceptions of good and bad; they define good as that which survives, and bad as that which goes under; and the universe has no prejudice in favour of Christ as against Genghis Khan.” (via)