The Vagrant

The VagrantIt was 9 pm. At the sight of the authority approaching, he tried to run, but he was surrounded. There were more than 10 of them, probably 20 – Police, officers from the welfare, a politician, and those from the rescue unit. All of them tried to help him. At least, with a comfortable bed and some food to eat. But, what the heck did he know about that? All he knew was that these people tried to take him away, only God knows where. Today would be a bad day. Every day was a bad day for him, but today could be worst. He knew he would get in trouble one day.

If sleeping on the street was a crime, then, he would be the worst criminal. He did it every day. This was his regular spot on fine weather. Did not know why he chose that place. To lie down with that stinking plastics, wastes, and suffocating smells was just disgusting. He smells too. He didn’t mind being there.

They pulled him out from that disgusting place. Coaxed him to go with them. He wanted to run, he hated those people. He did not trust them. “Come with us, we have food, a bed for you to spend the night and maybe you could take some shower”. He did not know the last time he had his shower. However, he would not take the risk. “No…Just let me stay here”.

He went back to the spot, closed his eyes, wished everybody would leave him alone.

 

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The Forest

I liked forest very much but scared of it. The serenity sometimes gave me chills. The quietness, the touch of breezes, the music as the birds sang above me and distance away made my heart race. People said you shouldn’t talk in the forest, or else you would be hunted by something you cannot see. Whether true or not, better take precaution.

“Why are you always looking at the streams?” Grace suddenly asked me. I didn’t expect to be asked that way. Yes, I had looked for streams throughout the journey. The sight of those glassy and graceful flowing waters or sometimes just dead calm, they were just fascinating. What would a forest be without streams? I think it would be like a body without the heart. Dead. Or a person without a soul; dead to everything around you. Streams give life to creatures; they make the trees, the grass, the plants grow big and beautiful. They give relief to animals; quenching their thirst and cool them down from the heat of the summer’s sun. They make the forest a forest.

“Oh, I did?” I replied.

“Yeah,”

“I just love them.” It was the only answer I could give her. I forgot that Grace was a very observant person. She picked up small details, details that I might have missed, but she picked them up. She had great empathy, no wonder she was an award-winning journalist.

couldn’t be like her. I lose focus easily. I wondered how does it feel like to be in the forest 40 or 50 years ago? I was not born at the time, but I bet they were very thick and the streams were roaring. The forests were teeming with life! My parents used to tell me that they used to bathe in the river. Bath at the river?? Ewww… I mean… why would you wanna do that? That is just gross! Bath at that muddy river..yuck!

“No…honey…the water was very clean during my time. It is brown now… but my time… it was clear..you could see your feet! We took our soap, our towel..extra shirt and just bath there.” My mother used to say that.

I missed that! The people of my generation missed it! What a pity! My grandparents used to see wild boars in the forests, they were everywhere. They knew the hornbill had come as they listened to that majestic sound of wing flapping, as that big bird flying overhead. They listened to birds singing in the dawn chorus. Forests were once a home, now, it seems foreign. In my place, There were people still keeping in touch with nature, for them, it was still their home, for me, it was a getaway. My job allowed me to visit such places, but as I looked around me as I walked through that thick forest and I watched that stream, I asked myself, how long will it last?

Gone Chances

I meant to write this three years ago.  My grandmother passed away that year, how I regretted many things.

I thought there were plenty of times for everything. Plenty of times to make out the time we had lost due to differences, misunderstanding, pain, anger, and lies. Plenty of time to get to know and to understand her – maybe her pain as well. I thought I had plenty of time to make new memories with her too – forgetting all brokenness due to anger and lies. I did not know that it could happen so soon. In fact, too soon.

Three years ago in August, grandma came home to stay with us for good.  She had been sick; pale, weak and very thin.  I didn’t expect her to see her at this state.  I wasn’t too happy about her coming back, but I knew it was about time to make out for the lost time.  Just seven months ago, I made that decision to forgive her. It wasn’t the hardest decision I made, but it was the most painful one. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life hating her, I wanted to love her, because she deserved to be loved, just as I deserved to be loved.

My grandmother and I shared the same name.  Elizabeth.  That was her baptism name, and my confirmation name.  Other than that, we shared nothing in common.  From what I know little about grandmother, she lived a hard life, and most of the time a painful one. I didn’t know when was the time she was really happy, probably she never did.  Her past was the reason of her brokenness, her brokenness was the reason of my anger.  She was never the grandmother I wish to have.  I wanted a loving grandmother, not a broken one.  I thought she had never loved us.

But, grandmother, she wanted everyone to be happy but I did not know whether she wanted happiness herself.  Dad made effort to give the happiness she deserved.  I tried, but failed.  Barely two months since she moved in with us, she passed away and we were left in disbelief. I thought maybe we could have another few years. After all, she was a strong person.  Dad had a great dream for her.  To move in our new house that Dad built himself; from his own money.  That did not came true.  And grandmother knew it all along, and it was the first time, I believed she was proud of us.

In her passing, I realised she did love us.  I was too blind to see and to understand it.