An incessant drill in our mind that runs a hyperactive parallel line of thought, keeps feeding us everything from comic relief memories to panic button anxiety attacks in nano seconds.
Last night in the vacant plot behind our apartments, the drilling machine continued drilling relentlessly. I peeped out, and saw that it was a massive machine, creating an ear-splitting noise, I would doze off and it would suddenly break into my sleep with its shrill cacophony, making me grit my teeth and curse under my breath.
Today, when I went out, my eyes fell on a group of grumpy gossip-mongers, talking among themselves.
“These blokes did not allow me to sleep yesterday night.”
“As if there was less pollution in the world, now this noise pollution! ”
“I had half a mind to call the police and report them. How can they disturb the neighbourhood? If they were digging a bore-well, why bore holes in our heads at midnight?”
I noticed that the person who was talking the loudest was the one who, had burst crackers to the tune of ten thousand rupees on Diwali, jeopardizing the lives of the old, the infirm, the dogs, cats and cows with huge spirals of toxic fumes and deafening noise. I had heard him boast about it how brazenly he blew up his money on the most expensive crackers to his neighbours the next day, with a superior air. His wife had looked on, pure admiration pouring forth from her eyes, and the others had tried to hide their feeling of inferiority by squirming and looking elsewhere as they had spent not more than five thousand (this I came to know later).
I should have had the good sense, to have disappeared from the face of the earth as I had sent not a rupee on crackers! The incessant drill in my mind that runs a hyperactive parallel line of thought popped up an image of me sitting on a white cloud of good sense. But, good sense seems to have gone up in smoke too and I am still around.
There was a slight chill in the air, the leaves were doing some sort of a dance, and the wind was singing esoteric ditties to the trees, which stood upright with a stoic nonchalance. Under one such tree sat an old woman, lost in her own world, away from the cacophony of a crazy world. Perhaps some drilling was going on in her mind too.
“I have often seen her roaming around, she has no one in this world.” I heard someone say.
“No, no, she has a son and a shrew of a daughter-in-law and both of them have turned her out of the house, and can you believe it, the house is in her name?” Another so-called jogger countered his statement, taking a leaf from a chameleon, perched on a plant, its head bobbing up and down. His head also went bob -bob with the vehemence of his assertion.
The woman had a smile on her face. What was she smiling about? A memory of some old heart throb, for whom she still carried a torch? The first tottering steps of her son? The first words that he uttered and the parents squabbled whether they were m…a ma, or pa…Pa? The drill was going on even in her mind, the second line of thought that keeps feeding us everything from comic relief memories to panic button anxiety attacks in nano seconds. The very next moment she grimaced and sighed.
And I left her to her thoughts, picked up an armful of mine and walked back home, my lines of thoughts running, merging, colliding, drifting away, just like the train tracks.
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