A scrawny body refusing to hide under a button-less shirt and a pair of oversized shots which seems to dangle from the fragile circumference of his thin waist! An irresistible urge to clasp the baby fingers and pull him inside asking”Chalega, school, padhne?” Just a few stray moments. The signal changes colour. The Honda City shows off its burning brake lights. My carrier purrs into action. I unzip my bag hurriedly, fumble for my wallet, rummage in it blindly, scoop out whatever comes my way and shove it in his hands. He does not look at the crushed, crumpled notes. He just smiles. He is happy. The happiness pours out like sunshine through crevices of the mischievous glint of his eyes, pallor of his cheeks, the white innocence of his teeth. An unhurried pause in the revving up scurry of movements! A few seconds! He is gone!
It’s a bright morning. Very bright! Everything around refracts the glitter of the post rain sun. But the dazzle does not prick my eyes. There is a veil of mist which surrounds and deepens as I blink. Suddenly, a breath of breeze blows in from an unfamiliar direction crooning craftily a lullaby into my ears. A lullaby which sounds uncannily familiar! Words resonate eerily in the sonorous voice of Nidaah Fazli Sahib. The unforgettable lines aptly epitomizing the remnant of the moment just swished by:
Ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo yun Karle
Kissi rotey huey bachhe ko hansaaya jaaye!