Fever

He sat outside while it rained. The red asbestos sheet sheltering him and the dog. Mother was making coffee in the newly shiny decoction set. And he could see it from the window.

Rain was getting heavier. Clouds were clashing against each other with vengeance. Sparks from flying off the electricity pole. He pulled another chair and put his feet on top of it. The sound of the rain falling made it impossible for him listen to his mother calling him.

She came and nudged him.

Startled and shocked, he let out a shriek—shriller than a girl—and dropped the coffee on the white tiles. He held the steel cup with the coffee falling all over and kept it on the wooden table.

The narrow poles kept to divert water from stagnating on the roofs was leaving a tiny puddle. He resumed to staring into the abyss. He could see now that he was empty and those sounds he heard from inside him. Every time a drop fell, a ripple was formed in the puddle as if it was better version than the previous one. Rain was getting less and less. His eyes were fascinated by the ripples forming in the puddle.

He was reminded of his vacation with his cousins when they would throw tiny pebbles to make ripples but would eventually get frustrated and throw big stones making splashing noises. Ammachi would come rushing out of the back door and yell and pinch our ears until they turned red.

Later, grandfather would make us pineapple juice in his special manual juicer and we would not regret that we threw those big stones. It’s only when we grew up we realized that grandma was just protecting those fishes so that they she can fry them smeared in spices and marinated in curd and give them for us.

The existential crisis that seemed to have taken over me now was evident even in that happy couple. I remember going to her funeral and remembering how her secret fish recipes died with her.

The puddle has become bigger but has a certain glitter and shine. The corner has something sparkling moving around the edges. Like a lightening, he could see a city—adorned with skyscrapers and flyover and shinning with biright colors. He jumped from his chair, dropping the coffee-filled steel cup with a klang.

Really?

You bought that?

Have you ever heard a steel cup falling with a single klang?

Of course not. It fell klang-klang and later making tiny smaller klang-er noises.

Drip by drip the image on the puddle was getting clearer. Now, there was a multitude of cars waiting in traffic jams; their head lights burning red in protest. This scene filled his heart with joy. He could see the busy Brigade road with all the lights and splendor, the pubs and donut shops, ‘the playing movie’ sign shinning in the distance. The road to Blossoms was illuminated like never before. It was brighter than he remembered.

By now, he was standing under the dark sky and the angry clouds. He wanted to take a closer look at the sign board of ‘Arrow’. The illumination was too bright for him to read. But the puddle was getting brighter and brighter. Suddenly, he heard a gunshot and looked up. He didn’t feel it but there was a sudden divine light that filled that house.  It was as if an angel had landed or a giant flash going off. It blinded the rest of them for a while. When they could see, you could hear mother crying.

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