Friday 15 September 2017

Short Story 2017 Shortlist Sudeepto Mishra

A Walk of Two Miles

At night, the streets in a metro city claim to have a colourful and lively fragrance. This picture painted in my mind made me to take a walk at night. I was passing those days with a fear of failure and diseased life. I was not living to the fullest but my pulses were normal. I was a bit fragmented and fickle at the same time.

While cutting off the busiest lanes of the city, I found a road with a totally weird and different smell. I changed my track and started walking in that direction. First I had a look over a bunch of fellows inhaling smokes, making fun of current politics and bluffing to their utmost limits. I suppose they were at their middle ages working 9 to 5 in reputed conglomerates, trying to exhale their frustrations. The corporate world from the outside looks much glittered but deep inside the fact is quiet pale, full of dark and dirty politics. I had nothing to do with these contemporary job environments, but still few of my friends are over enthusiastic  to pass such information down all the way to this self-employed me. Surpassing the cancer prone hub, I was feeling lucky to be me.

Few steps ahead, was a person lying abandoned at the left flank of the road. A yellow shade street light was flickering over the spot making it kind of spooky. I came near to see his lids closed and few flies fizzing over his face as if the person is dead. To check I looked below to the stomach and thankfully it showed wavy movements. What a city it was, where people fall asleep on the road, may be due to drugs or might be for eternity.  God knows what the case was but the better option was to move on. 

 Ignoring the frame I kept heading to find an end to this. But after few foot I got hold of folks swigging bottles of golden liquid. A stack of liquor counters situated there engulfing packs of personalities to give them the so called peace.  Peace itself is a very dilemmatic word. People thriving to have it never get a glimpse but the people with no idea of the correct definition of it are keeping it in their pockets. Such world of wonders it is! I felt a bit luckier to not get tangled to the so called peace.

Holding few glimpses, I walked along; the boundaries were getting closer and few girls sitting like a flock of sheep obeying their fat surrogate mother were ready to please and satisfy the bullish youth. Their seductive charm made the roads indeed very colourful but ultimately they also had left many cries behind them to gain these stances. Men going to weaken their testosterone bursts and coming out lazy with tousled hair clarified what all was happening inside the house.  Still feeling luckier, I moved on to find something normal to my streets.

However, I found the elongated barks of the stray dogs trying to protect their realm from unwanted visitors. It was a bit normal and was also scary as I had to cross those untamed garbage eaters. I slowly crossed them without making any eye contact like a guilty child leaving the class of his over annoyed teacher.

Finally the smell ended to a high way. The walk of two miles was over. I was feeling well to see myself in a good condition compared to all of them. My fear of having a bad fate was gone. I was relieved and headed home to rest my ankles.

Some of you might be thinking that I am just a boring and unfunny virgin moving around the streets of a metro but literally I am not. I was stuck to the negative hooks of failure and dissatisfaction. But this gave me a better perspective to see life.  Life is what we make it and that’s what I am doing right now. A short walk making me realize about my satisfied life now feels as it was of miles, which taught me life.

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