As he sat alone drinking coffee and holding his book he got distracted and looked out the glass partitioning him off from the dust and grime of everyday life. He observed the cacophony of life from within his circumscribed presence and it all appeared reassuringly chaotic. Uncaring about the spectator but spectacular nevertheless- the utter randomness of everyday existence.

In the company of solitude his mind wandered seeking the story of all that he beheld. The story of that limping guy across the street.  Scavenging and begging for food at times and lost in some thought or the other as he went from one stranger to another.

The vendors hawking their wares silently or beseechingly depending on how well they were doing.

The bikes, scooters, the luxury cars and normal cars that rolled by bearing human beings to some destination or the other: A place, a person, a point in time.

The story of that preening youngster walking by perhaps proud of something he had achieved or just about being young.  His limited exposure to the vicissitudes of life enabling him to be alive in the moment as well as consider some triviality as the fulcrum of his existence. The delusions of the young and the unaffected.

The story of that guy making a filter coffee. Did he enjoy his craft and take pride in the quality of his product. Or was it just a menial chore to him to feed himself and his family and for his child’s education.

The story of the immigrant thousands of miles away from home serving pani puris so that his family could have a good life. Solitude, fidelity/infidelity or the sense of being a martyr for the sake of his family perhaps would dominate his thoughts.


The solitude melted away as he seeped through the looking glass into the countless loves and lives he was observing. He wandered like a spirit piggybacking on other mortal shells and the countless lives lived in the incalculable bubbles that each individual existence is. Experiencing sounds, sights and smells that one’s limited existence doesn’t let one experience.  Assimilating the random events that brought each person to that particular corner of the universe at that particular instant. He smiled, cried and rejoiced in the small joys that make each day worth living. The fleeting connect was like a drug that for a few seconds opened up his mind ,linking it to the invisible thread that ties each life to the core of existence.

To the strangers outside he must appear to be the one in a cocoon. A fly trapped in amber as it were. Gazing out inexorably without joining the flow of life.

He felt a strange wetness on his face. They were perhaps tears. Something he had known once a long time ago. His reverie was broken as an ambulance blazed by. Life and death and the inevitable pull of entropy. Ah such is life he thought. He wandered out in a daze and started walking to whatever destination he sought that day, becoming a spectacle for perhaps another bored spectator such as himself.

By- Aseem Mahajan

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  1. Rishi Porwal says:

    Beautifully captures the finer elements! Particularly loved the part that described the feeling of the immigrant making pani puris. Great going man!