The rain kept on pouring on the bus, in all forms. There were brief periods when the breeze had some private moments with the bus, but overall, the rain intruded most of the time. I could see the windshield and have the driver’s view on some occasions. The wipers kept working overtime.
The view on the Driver’s rear view mirror often revealed the grinning face of our driver. The smile showcasing the bright white set of teeth in the darkness. The smile that also managed to hold a lit bidi that was an important accessory with this man who had already driven us close to 300 kilometers. The same smile that probably had a few hundred stories behind it. Stories that were an important aspect of his life (and probably someone else’s life too), for they fuelled the fire in him to drive 17 hours a day.
I chose to turn my face towards the window. Droplets of water decorated the brown glass pane on my right. The city cars zoomed past, leaving behind a tail of colorful lights, owing to which, the droplets of water, for a moment or two, acquired the effect of hundred mini-rainbows.
And when not mini-rainbows, they were the stars. Small, silvery, glittering and existing within my handâ€™s reach. I was so much in my own little world. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Isn’t that what you want?
But then the bus stopped, and the imagery acquired a different shape. A beggar child, in the bare minimum of clothes, both hands on the window of a car. His workplace, this muddy, traffic congested road. His plea, in his eyes. His desperations, too many to count. His thoughts, he could not afford.
His hands on the window’s glass were taken to be intrusions into another world. His gestures were met with hatred. On an open window, the glass made way up, securing the world of someone inside. Nothing, but a pure matter of convenience.
If I could make eye contact with the child, all I had to offer was another pair of cold eyes.
The difference between his world and mine? A Glass Pane.
Then I noticed, it was only the breeze now — the rain had gone and so were the droplets. My world looked so bleak without those stars.
My little world now ceased to exist.
PS: Thank you, Mr.Nair, for your suggestions on this.