I walked out of the house yesterday.Ran down the stairs, idly noting the paan stains on the wall.The banister is wooden,dusty and cool under my hand.I reached the lobby, where the watchman sat, dozing.A newspaper fluttered in his limp hand. I noted that he had completed the crossword. I stepped softly aside so as not to wake him, and walked out of the building.
The two stray dogs came running to me, like my appearance had made their day. The younger one wanted to play, this was apparent from the way he kept running round my legs.The mother dog stood back, watching her son, with a bemused half smile.I patted his head, his fur was short and bristly, unlike his mother. She had soft hair and was much leaner than her son. I left them wagging their tails as i made my way up the slope.The son trotted up beside me, he always accompanied me till the road.
A gutter ran alongside the slope.In the rains, it was filled with gushing water, now only rustling leaves lay there. At night, I often heard soft scampering noises, unseen small creatures running in the drain.I gave the gutter a wide berth at night.
On a hot afternoon like today however, the road was silent,except for my soft footfalls and the panting of the dog. I looked down at him fondly. He grinned back at me, his tongue lolling and proceeding to butt my leg with his cold, wet nose.I swear that dog understands me. He gets distracted by a falling flower, watching it with his solemn brown eyes till it touches the ground. i watch its descent too. It is a simple white flower, giving out no fragrance, but it has been there for the longest time,and suddenly not to watch the falling flower seems like sacrilege.We stand there, dog and I, in the sweltering heat, as a slight breeze floats the flower to safety.
Suddenly, the urgent need to escape the house leaves me. I'm content, doing nothing on a nondescript road in a quiet part of a large bustling city. I thought I went for a walk, but I never even reached the road.