I take a break from work to go out for my evening stroll. Usually I study in the back room of my house as there is less noise. As I start down the stairs, I hear a sound of chorus coming from the opposite road. It is Navratra (Hindu festival) and loudspeakers blare devotional hymns sung by a group of priests.

I do not know but I’m filled with deep loneliness as I hear those celebrations galore. I stare at the incandescent neon lights and firecrackers. I hear loud chants of people dressed in finery, clapping their hands in jest. People who are from married families. Festivals are a familial affair and I know my life does not fit the definition of a family. I’m not married! The pain of not fitting the status-quo takes me in temporal discontentment.

What is wrong that I feel melancholic! 

I’m not living a lie. I’m getting my kind of work. There is a companion who has not called me since morning, in part because he is occupied with work, in part because he cannot deal with my itch for solitude. I cannot explain it to him. I cannot change for him. Will things change then?

I have no answers. I keep walking in that foam of contemplation. I think about the ‘little god’ in my house. Who I have to labor for another generation to make that god a human. I walk for some more time, my heart morose and my steps plump. As I reach my house, I see the 3 year old daughter of my ground floor neighbor. She is sipping Horlicks from the teat of her feeding bottle.

I ask her if I can lift her up. She nods and I lift her. I plant kisses on her tender cheeks. I talk to her in childlike banter. I tell her that she is lucky to get a mother whose care for her is unconditional. She gives me a blank look as she continue to sip from the teat of her bottle. I put her back and go back home.