by Neha Hooda
My office building is situated in Second Street of Sector 3 of Rewari district, Haryana. Our office location in this street is obscured to people. And who had ever visited the office, they reached it after a half-hour enquiry to neighbors, tea-shop owners etc. And the reason for this lack of an identifying “SPRING” board in front of the office (the name of the NGO), is the illegality of holding office space in a residential area as per the directives of Indian law. But still we are working and conducting our research with fake documents in this lesser known street.
There is a landmark vacant plot which has an area of equal to 5 building fronts in this street on the left side. In other words, this street is sharing space with 5 houses on the right side while the other side is vacant. When we enter into this street, one iron placard of a tax consultant and a placard of a school welcomes us which is then accompanied by trees. And this giant plot is shelter to the strayed cows and their families who graze on its green carpet of grass to satisfy their basic need of hunger. This place is further groomed by garbage which is thrown by the nearby residents. And this intelligent task of vacancy of their dustbins is still in practice even though it has known dire consequences, particularly in the rainy season. This plot is further shared in only one boundary with a banquet hall, named “Ganeshi Lal Dharmshala” which lets it dance in wedding time by tuning songs.
Now we will move to the occupied space of the street, that is five buildings and our office is shared between adjacent houses. In one of the house (with which left wall is being shared), a joint family with 3 kids is residing. Kids
are using this street for playing in the evening. And one of the kids is very naughty and asked for a dance with the grandmother who was standing there to oversee them. I got the chance to observe that moment when we were sharing tea with colleagues outside of the office. We all chuckled on that request which later on was declined by her old grandmother. While in second adjacent neighbor (with which right wall is common), an elderly couple is living. They used to arrange water for strayed bovine animals. And many a times, they provide food also. And they had constructed a pot type structure for providing water and food to these four legged animals. So I admired these zoophiles.
And besides these man-made concrete buildings, there is a concrete road which primarily constitutes a “street” which is bearing all the vehicles and animals and the most civilized animal of earth is bearing it. This non- living street is having a time of merriment when the school goers wait for their transportation vehicle and bide their time by exchanging conversation and the scene of enjoyment is repeated in reverse when they come back from their learning institution. Otherwise, the road is left to the women who are wont to gather at one point of time for exchanging their chats. I think that could be boring to this dead street to watch the old ladies during their conversations. But something is better than nothing because it is left to gaze at the sky when these ladies disappear. But the area is barren and deserted most of the time which keeps it clean and prevents its dilapidation from being the cause of bloody injuries, on the positive side. Everything has two aspects and I think this office street is enjoying the personal loneliness and ephemeral active time of both. ***