12 : 20 AM, electricity is out and so is the backup, it had rained- The kind that I don’t like, the dull sound of the raindrops, the air without the smell and the clouds without the thunder- a passionless night- it is boring, I’m hungry and I keep staring at my phone.
“Should I order something? Or Should I cook”
Of course I can’t cook, I don’t see in the dark and everything is out- so I gave up and dialed the number,
“Hello, Thank you for calling Sam’s.”
“Hey, Is it possible that you can make a delivery?”
“Um no sir, We can’t tonight.”
“Alright, Thank you.”
Of course they can’t make a delivery- It rained and it’s almost closing time. I sighed and stared in the darkness. It was odd sitting there without my thoughts, usually I would be surrounded by my past or something I’m infatuated with but the only thing on mind was to get something in my belly.
“Maybe the shawarma vendor is open?”
The perfect excuse to get out of this morbid moment- I took the house key, emptied my wallet except of the 500 rupee note and I give my phone a thought, I slip it in my pocket- It’s old and the state of it will make a good joke on the one who mugs me. I head out.
The street is a pathetic mess, I feel like a rat crawling in a sewer, dodging puddles, jumping on slabs until I reach a puddle I can’t dodge, a utility pole is staring at me, it’s shining like it’s on a stage in spot light, I can almost feel it smirking as it flirts with me- It’s fine that I get electrocuted but it’s not fine when I’m hungry. I decide to take its support.
I lean down instinctively- I’m not electrocuted but there are sparks coming down, the pole on the other side didn’t like me. I shrugged and continued on my quest, again trying my best not to slip and land on my nose and of course keeping my cool which was very important.
I hear a faint growl and I look ahead to see a dog eying me down, I keep walking straight and it turns in the alley leaving growls behind- I check myself as I keep walking, there is nothing on me tonight, I start to wonder if I’m going to get rabies next – as I walk next to the alley, the dog standing there giving me a nasty look and I can feel my body getting ready, adrenaline is kicking in but I pass the alley, I look back from my shoulder – The dog is back out on the road staring at me.
I reach the vendor and it’s open, there are three boys- all about the age of 14.
“Aik Shawarma kerdo.” (Do one Shawarma.)[No pun intended.]
The boy nods and starts heating the wrap- There is an old man nearby staring at the stove, his eyes are fixed on the wrap. I wonder if I should ask him if he wants one too but before I can utter my thought he reaches in one of the glass stalls and takes out some fries.
“Kitnai ka hai?” (How much is it?)
“50 rupai ka.” (50 rupees.)
I hand out 50 rupees he isn’t done yet- but when he’s done and he hands me the delicious wrap- He gets cheeky and asks me again if I had paid- I was the only customer the whole time.
As I’m walking back home and I notice a boy walking ahead of me, In his hands are a few inflatable animal toys, he looks like a 4th grader- he shouldn’t be walking alone at this time. I pick up my speed curiously- He notices me behind him and he notices I’m looking at him. I speak out before I spook him,
“Kya Ap yeh bechtai ho?” (Do you sell these?)
“Gee, Ap logai bhai?” (Yes, Will you get one brother?)
“Ap konsa lai gai? Yeh wala ya ba-batakh wala?” (Which one will you take? This one or the d-duck)
“Batakh wala- kitna ka hai” (The duck one, how much is it?)
“40 rupai ka- mei nai yeh 30 rupai ka liya, aj sara din kisi nai nahi kuch khirada, aphi-”
(40 rupees – I got it for 30 rupees, no one bought anything today, you’re-)
Before he could finish I handed him a 100 rupee note and asked him if it was okay- He took a few seconds and then he nodded, he handed me the inflatable duck and we both started to walk- I was still curious and I asked him,
“Ap ka name kya hai?” (What is your name?)
“Mera name- Mohammad Haris.” (My name- Mohammad Haris.)
“Gee, Haris.” (Yes, Haris.)
“Mera name bhi Haris hai.” (My name is also Haris.)
A smile grew on my face and Haris was smiling too- We both were experiencing a moment in wonderland- the thunder had struck twice. I asked him where he was from and he told me- I wanted to walk with him to his home but he had doubled his pace, I stopped at my turn but Haris kept walking straight.
I looked at my shawarma and then looked back at him, I shouted out if he had eaten something today- He had started to run now and He yelled back he did. I stood there, wondered if he thought I was going to abduct him, I kept looking at him and then I went back home-
I was expecting things tonight; But I didn’t expect this in this dog eat dog world.