The Passerby

The sun was shining too bright...too bright even for a summer afternoon. He got down from the bus...a very badly maintained one which belongs to the government, but nothing to complain especially when got to experience the wrath of the sun, it wouldn't be surprising to know that he wanted to get on the bus again. His mouth was yearning for water...completely dry like the lands of the Sahara. He turned around only to find a tailoring shop open.

 

"It's probably the lunch time", he said to himself. He was not sure as where to go. He didn't want to ask the tailor for directions. It's not the first time that his aversion towards people got the better of him. It happened on a daily basis.


He decided to walk towards the trisection and then try his luck on one of the roads. He lifted his trolley whose broken wheels would have made hell of a noise if he would have decided to pull it. "Smart move", he thought. 


A lone biker swooshed past him, not wearing a helmet, the bike was spitting smoke as if it's a rocket which is going to take off. He crossed the road and headed towards the intersection on the lumpy road.


He decided to sit on the bench for sometime. He despised the fact that there was no shade even over the seat. "Damn this country", he said to himself, thinking about his long lost childhood dream of living in a country which celebrates winter forever.


He was not surprised to see the town or village or whatever the hell that place was deserted, not even a bird was to be seen. The scorching sun was eating his soul along with his body. He decided to carry on with his journey. 


He looked worn out, probably because of the travel or may be because of the toll his life took on him....he was moving along the way in which his legs took him. His was lost in his thoughts and was concentrating on the reel world that was about to unfold in front of him rather than on the present. 


THE DREAM


"This way sir", said the security guard.


"Oh thank you", he replied politely


He was checking his cuff links, it said 'A'...yes just the letter 'A'...probably short for his name...Ajay...Anand may be. It seems as if he is going to attend a meeting and it also appears that he is the boss around the place. As he was walking by, he could over overhear some men, probably some employees working for him.


"Is he really an athiest?", said a man.


"Of course", replied the other one in an obvious tone.


He couldn't conceal a slight smile that flashed at the corner of his face, nevertheless he continued walking as if he heard nothing. 


In this dream, he is a very famous, successful and rich businessman or something like that. He was acquiring another corporation...his rival corporation leaving him the solo king of the jungle. He is very proud of himself. He attributes his success to his hard work, perseverance, and most importantly to the fact that he is an atheist. He doesn't want to identify himself as a member of any religion or alliance. He believes that he is a lone wolf. Each step he takes in the road transports him to a whole new layer of dream making him more and more powerful....finally making him reach the position of the president of the country.


Now he is busy thinking how to maintain a good diplomatic relationship with different nations. Sitting in the presidential bungalow, he was thinking how much he has come across in his life. Being in such a position, now he finds it hard to imagine himself in the shoes of his old self. Is it true that power corrupts people and make some one new out of them? His mind wants him to make fun of those poor people across the country on their inability to change the course of their future like he did it with his.


"Fools", he said to himself, seated comfortably in his 'throne', that's what he called his seat, it was very easy for him to talk trash about anyone that passed by by....the guards, the servants, the clerks, everyone is a failed case except for him, that's what he thought.

He leaped into another layer of his imagination. Now he imagined himself being an inspiration to the youth of the country. He could hear them speak about how he went on to become the president of the country and how hard work pays off. But there was two common things in all his imaginations, one is that he is always successful and they always lead to another layer of dream world.


 He was into deep thought when a sharp nail pierced through his leg through his not so useful sandals. 


STILL DREAMING BUT IN REALITY 


"Ahh", he screamed. The pain made him realise his position both in his life and on his way. He began to pick up his pace, the temperature was unbearably hot and he was sweating profusely, but he kept on going mumbling to himself his 'Presidential address' half of which was dissolved in his sweat and the rest was blown away along with his breath. 


As he walked through the streets he could see that the entire village is deserted...but why? Or is it his mind playing tricks on him? Probably because of the heat...no one can say. He kept on walking as fast as he could, staggering from side to side due to the weight of his luggage. 

A drop of sweat slipped from his eyebrows into his left eye and his vision became blur. "Sigh!!! what's the use of the second eye if he can't see with the one", he thought to himself. 

A blurry vision of people was starting to form in front of him, but he couldn't hear anything. Hunger has made him deaf temporarily. He dropped his luggage and cleared his eyes with his dust tainted hands making it worse. 


As he walked towards them he could figure out that there is some kind of ceremony going on. A marriage.


THE MARRIAGE


The faint sound of the mridangam became louder and louder and he went deeper and deeper into his thoughts. He could get a glimpse of the bride and he was shocked. "She is just a kid!!!", he screamed...but to himself. He was so furious and powerless at the same time. He started an imaginary conversation with one of those attendees.

"The bride is too young isn't she?", he said


"Haha...no one is too young for marriage here", said the man. He doesn't seem to have any kind of emotions on this matter.


He quickly walked past the place partly because he was embarrassed to be the only person who looks shabby among the entire crowd and partly because his mind doesn't want any part in the ongoing 'ceremony'.


He said to himself that he will never do such a thing in his life or let anyone around him do this. The sadness in the bride's eyes ignited a fire inside him. He wanted to lash out on all the religious gurus and prophets and messengers and those who created the traditions and cultures and customs which don't have any logical backings. 


"Why are religious customs practiced when no one has ever seen or heard from 'God'? Why all those rituals, fear, sacrifice? These are for nothing but just to keep someone ready to be blamed when things don't go as planned. I am proud to be an atheist. We are the children of science and not Gods.", he imagined himself addressing a huge gathering. His speech was interrupted by a black cat that crossed him.


"Sigh!!! Why did this cat cross me? May be I am taking the wrong way", he swiftly turned around and traced back his steps trying to find another road that goes in a completely different direction.

As he continued walking, he found himself obstructing the way of the newly married bride and the bridegroom. 


"Move out of the way you moron", some lady shouted.


"Does this bring bad luck swamiji?', a man asked the guruji


He laughed at him for believing in such superstitions and continued with his journey. 

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