The Promise of Daylight
by Haritha Hariprasad
Having blazed all day long, the sun now seems to be sitting back, taking one last look at the day that he created, which he’ll shortly take away. The city waits for the moon to cast his soothing glow and becalm the agitated bundle of nerves, that its dwellers have turned into. It’s the end of yet another long day. The sweat drenched shirt of the cycle rickshaw wala becomes a balloon over his frail body as it blows in the occasional weak wisps of wind. Perhaps a few more rides to the metro station and that’s all for the day.
The mad rush of shoppers is dwindling. Public dustbins are overflowing and the air has a foul smell of the rotten leftovers of momos. People still make a beeline to the local street vendors who have more of it in plastic buckets waiting to be heated in aluminium vessels. Clothes, sheets, footwear, perfumes, vessels, you name it and they have it all….out on the streets under the incandescent street lamps with tiny flies hovering under it. Mannequins that could drive anti- ‘body shaming’ feminazis to bring the roof down, vie to grab your attention, displaying sequined dresses and lingerie. It’s time to carry them inside and pull the shutters down for the day. Vendors calling out to offer goods at throwaway prices, trying to catch the last of the customers, cycle bells and horns, the constant chatter of the crowd, kids clamouring for attention visibly irritated by the long walk, extra-long giggles of newly married woman out shopping with their husbands… all merge into one, the ebbing sounds of a dying day. Another busy day in one of the busiest streets of the national capital, the nerve centre of a country of more than a billion people. Few more minutes and it’s all about winding up and coiling back into the safety of homes.
There’s something very special about this stage of the day. It’s about transition, about uncertainty. It’s that moment which is depressing yet holds the promise of maybe a better tomorrow. It’s about trying to prick a hole in the massive bubble of fear that engulfs you with that little needle of hope that you possess. It’s about finding your way through the night just to see another dawn hoping it’s going to be different. It’s about unfulfilled promises and desires just as it is about aspirations, ambitions and dreams for tomorrow. Perhaps the toughest phase for the city just as it is for its dwellers. But the city doesn’t care…days turn into nights and nights into days, each slipping quietly into another.
Nights are scary but the promise of daylight eggs us on. Life goes on and so do we. ***