The day was spent like a scorched travelers’ journey after he returns home. He was famished. He ordered food. Something to keep him going on this tough evening. As the night settled in, he gazed out from the window which stretch across the entire length of his eastern wall. The moon was shining bright. He inclined his head slightly to get a better view of the object veiled perfectly behind a canopy of mango leaves. He was not methodic in his way. His zodiac described him as a fierce lover of independence and solitude. As he read the contours from his human eye, encompassing the expanse of his own microscopic self in the universe, his eye caught the glimpse of a light shining bright from a kitchen window. Just as he shifted his gaze to observe more carefully, he heard metallic clatter; someone was washing utensils. His thoughts went into a roller coaster ride backwards to times when he was at home. The cigarette dangled from his hands and fell over the edge. He tried to curse himself but couldn’t. What struck his mind so hard at this hour of this solemn night?
He realized the woman who was washing utensils at this hour must be a housewife. No! He doesn’t know! She could be a doting wife or an office-goer too. It wasn’t the knowledge of her work that intrigued him. It was the impact that epiphany made; a shiver down his spine. Maybe that’s why the cigarette fell. The limits mothers would go to become the ideal family. It comes almost instinctively. We Indians are born with this inherent obligation towards parents which can never be erased. At that moment, he thought of his mother. He thought the everyday trouble she goes through. He thought of the sacrifices she makes to keep her family going. My family going! She expects the same from me. His mind wandered to times when he used to go out with friends just to eat at McDonalds or roam around malls. And he picked up how far he had come from being that person. How independent had he become! But wasn’t he overdoing it a bit? He realized he was.
He thought he was stretching it too far. But he just couldn’t let it go. He sat on the bedside table and contemplated his thought-
‘Why do I smoke?’
His heart said-
‘It feels good. You feel good’
His mind said-
‘It’s bad in the long run’
‘Fuck you both. For once, I won’t get trapped in this eternal struggle between mind and heart.’
And he nodded like he understood the repercussions. Like it was nothing but a sign from universe. It wasn’t just the inadvertent connection between the two things that left him completely baffled, but the enormity of his present predicament. He smoked. Yes, he did! With all the gusto there is in this world. Call it peer pressure or a social sin that had recently become a necessity in his life. It was there. He knew it was just minutes before he will get over this realization. Transient as they were. He asked his roommate for the laptop and moved his fingers like he had never before. Everything came pouring down like hailstorm. He twisted his story to make sense of it.
And as he wrote the closing lines, all he had a silent resolution in his heart and a weak resolve. But like every other person, I believe in him.
He will do the right thing.