May 13, 2003

Yellow Leaves

The sun had strengthened to grant a threatening enough preview of what was to follow later in the day when I walked out of the office, helmet and a book that a friend had gifted in hand, to the parking lot at eight in the morning. There was no one else in there, save a few cars, two quasi-abandoned motorcycles cloaked in fine dust, an office car and the shed that housed the massive generator, with its snout sticking out from the side.

Considering that it was a routine that i followed six days of the week, I was pretty nonchalant and sleepy-eyed, looking forward to the short ride home and my creaky cot on which I could fling myself after another hard night's work. It then dawned on me that it was quite windy, too windy for a summer's day, unless it was going to rain, which it was not. The skies were clear, there was no smell of rain in the air and then I saw what I failed to notice in the first place.

There were leaves, the size of two or three postage stamps stuck together, flying in the air. I had never seen so many of them, all yellow in colour, running about in the wind, chasing each other. I could have stood there forever, as there was no other sound, other than for the wind forcefully making its way thought the trees. There was no one else in sight, I was alone and had not felt that sense of beauty or that degree of calm in a long long time.

Standing there I could forget for a few moments how much it was disturbing me that no one is willing to listen anymore, everyone was right and everyone was screaming. A good man is a good listener. We are all turning into anything but that. I could forget how shaken I still was from things that happened a a week or so back, how much difficult it was getting to keep moving when sense was still very busy being the elusive, fading flame of a candle, playing truant in a sea of darkness.

We all are traders of reality in the market of life, some trade for the present, some for the future and some hold on to worthless bits from the past. It is an intricate dance, where we at times hold on to what we have or acquire or sell depending on what we make of the conditions. Sometimes we make a killing, only to lose it all in the next gamble and every trader always has a scar or a tale from transactions that he was once part of.

Walking on the edge is, by nature, precocious in its disposition. At stake is either the most exciting view that one can ever get or a fall that would be spectacular for everyone else and anything but that for the fallen. Every faint gust and every dry breeze touches you here in a way that is more severe than what it is on safer grounds. That being a certainty, the pursuit of a mundane existence, joined by time when yellow leaves danced merrily in the air, continues fruitlessly.