A Walk Down the Street

A narrow unevenly tarred road.

Every day I walk on this street, hurriedly, trying not to attract too much attention while also silently observing the variety of events that happen on it every single day.

A woman washes clothes on a stone slab outside the door.
A man wearing a checkered lungi stands on the terrace brushing his teeth.
A tiny naked girl with uncombed hair is crying near her mother while the mother inattentively washes dishes.
A man is sitting on the bike with his friend standing beside him, smoking a cigarette while staring at people/women/me making us uncomfortable.
A small tailor’s shop has a bright yellow public phone booth. The shop is empty most of the time but there is always someone on the telephone. I wonder if the tailor listens to everybody’s conversations.

There are many small cement and brick houses on this lane which are painted in awkward bright colors – mint green, psychedelic purple, electric blue, some are not painted at all, and some houses are so old that the paint has faded and chipped off years ago.

In the midst of these fractured buildings, a tall apartment with a massive gate is randomly positioned breaking the entire rhythm. A little ahead is an open ground which is used by buses and truck drivers for parking but during the day it is usually empty.

A temple around the corner fills the street with the smell of marigold flowers and incense sticks. As I get closer, I hear the sound of bells and prayer chants.

I take a right, reach the main road, and disappear in the crowd of a busy street.


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