The Letter by Dhumaketu
Para 1 .. The sky was clear and the stars alight. The night was receding yielding space to dawn. A man in the throes of death reminisces about his happy times to draw comfort. Like the way the fleeting radiance in the dying man’s face, the stars sparkled before becoming invisible in the approaching daylight.
It was a cold winter dawn, and the chilling winds blew harsh. Morning chores had already started in some houses. The sound of the grinding mills and women singing came rustling through the air. Spurred by these sounds, the old man sauntered along the lonely road, braving the biting cold. He wrapped his frayed clothes around his body to keep off the shivers. Occasional barks of a dog, women going to work, or squeals of birds disturbed in their nests punctuated the deafening silence that fell over the place.
The folks lay asleep still as the cold appeared to numb them to inactivity. The winter cold’s malignant spell was akin to a villain’s deceptive smile for its victim.
Unruffled by the cold and the desolate surroundings, the old man trudged on till he emerged out of the town-gate. The struggle was palpable as he dragged his feet. His walking stick was his sole companion.
Para 2 .. Rows of trees and public gardens lined the street on either side. The sky looked darker and the cold wind began to gnaw at his freckled skin. At the end of the garden stood a not-so-old building. Light tunneled through the small gaps in doors and windows.