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Routine. That was what being here meant to me. I don't know since when. All that I remember is being here, always. Amma says it was Grandpa who had held me in his hands and brought me here for the first time. That was when the world was too simple. Eat, sleep, wail, puke and burp. I don't even have the faintest of remembrance of anything else from that very beautiful time. Being a baby was fine.
As a child I had touched the heights of sky swinging. Sometimes when I lend my ears to myself I can hear the little me laughing in abandon. I always had loved being in the swing. And Grandpa still remembers how the initial smile on my face would raise to become a shriek and then a belly laugh when it took me to the sky. It was here in this bench I had cuddled on to my Grandma and listened to stories she would feed me with. It was here she helped me read my first alphabets and rhymes.
It was here where I had grown up. The balloons that would sway endlessly, waiting for that moment of freedom to float freely in the air. The inviting ice candies in a myriad of colors. The hot peanuts. They all had seen me grow. Grow up with a little sorrow buried in myself. And over the years the only thing that never changed was my being here and my uncherished sorrow.
It witnessed me being totally smitten by books. The same bench. And I was there reading. Reading. And reading. Till all the lights would fade. Later when the love for reading paved way to a passion for writing the bench became my alter ego. It have heard all the tales I left unsaid and remained a faithful friend.
I would scribble. Strike off. Tear. And look out to the world around me. To whom I seemed invisible. People having pretty a good family time. Friends shouting, laughing and teasing each other. Couples hand in hand relishing the breeze with eloquence giving words to their silence. A few lone souls who seemed to be lost somewhere between the horizon and the waves. The vendors all putting in their best to have good sales. And again I would start writing. As having drawn some secret inspiration from the aura around.
It was on one such day I had met him. Actually he had come up to me. I was quite surprised to see that someone actually bothered to spot me amidst these chaos. "Yes," I said in that inquiring tone. He offered to me an ice candy to which I declined. I found him an interruption in my writing affair. With a slight tinge of disappointment he walked away. This wasn't the last time he did it. The subsequent days too saw the same drama unfold. And each time I heard myself utter No that had the air of anger increasing with each day.
On the 5th day, when peace had finally come to me in the form of an appealing climax to my work he came again. In a mood to treat myself I accepted the offer and bought an ice candy. I paid him. But he wouldn't leave. I questioningly glanced at him. As having read my mind he uttered. " I kinda like you. Will you do something for me?" in somewhat a broken dialect. I was awkwardly tempted to know where was this conversation leading to. "What?" I asked in a jiffy. He went on to assure me that I needn't serve him for free. He offered to gift me free ice candies every day. He showed to me a set of paper, which could be seen was crumbled too fiercely once. It occurred to me that it was my own writing. What is the guy doing with all these papers I threw away? He had again read it out of my mind. "I see you here everyday. You read, write, look around, and leave all these papers here. I had first taken them out of curiosity. Just to know, what it was all about! ....." He went on to explain the whole affair. And that was when I noticed him. His thick bronze hair, fine but forced tanned texture and the very much athletic stature. Handsome, I blurted out. Oh no! I wasn't paying attention to what all he had said. We both knew that and I blushed in a little shade of pink. He repeated the tale. He was a drop out and desperately wanted to learn. "So will you be my teacher?". He asked. In a tone from which I could decipher too much emotions. A tear drop rolled down my cheek, which I swiftly wiped off. "Yes" I said in an determined tone.
Days pass on often too fast. I wasn't alone in the bench now. And I knew I wouldn't be ever again. My sorrow too was washed away never to return. Reproachful fingers were raised when I finally found the happiness I always had longed for. He now lived with us as my little brother. And a family was draped around a nest of love.