Standing outside in the balcony of this three floor apartment at Delhi, I enjoy a few moments of peace. I look at the moon and the sky. I then cannot avoid but look at the street below. It has people. I see people sleeping out in open on the porch of shops, their workplace. Workplace!
I would not like to imagine myself spending more than 10 hours of a slavish existence at one of those that made me feel so glut. I see them on all the nights I am sleepless. I try not to be noticed. Thanks to the height, one can barely recognize my silhouette. I do not want to disturb their privacy. Unfortunately the open street hardly allows them any. Yet, the night tries to come to their rescue but alas, only half successful! Such discoveries and moments fill me with awe for life.
Sometimes, I get a hateful feeling of vegetative growth of this city full of monstrous opportunity. Sometimes, it scares me that I could be there too. There are dogs everywhere. These mischievous stray dogs share the same space. I read story of dog bites in the morning. I guess the dogs in my street just are not the ones. They sleep so quiet next to these people.
Men wake up, pee on a grilled drain around them and then sleep again. I organize my plans of walking bare feet again when a heel broke and the other day, when I wanted to go to a place of worship. A few men return drunk. They meet their friends and crack jokes. Sometimes they just vomit around drains and go back to sleep somewhere I would not know. Just when the stars have clad the night sky enough, sometimes I see dogs making out and sometimes even a man making out with another man. I do not shut my eye anymore in horror. I have studied the debate over the last year. I have not found a solution to the question. However, I do know a few reasons and have now begun to lend some understanding. It’s like now part of this routine city life. I study in my mind, how they are homeless here. I study how they have same needs. But I also see how humble and innocent their sleep is. They sleep for roughly 5 hours and yet they get back to the work with same energy without complaining or perhaps without a choice to. About others, I would not know, but these workers at this street that I know sure have come to the city to make the most of it.
Evening on my way to park, I move past a government school. There I see a garbage corner which I often cross fast holding my breath to avoid the stench coming from the open unclean garbage trolleys. I see this old man keeping his items in one of them. Other days when I go for a run in the morning, I find him sleeping next to it. It fills me with awe. I sometimes hate myself. Other times, I feel inspired.
And I get back to my sabbatical through the day and through the night trying to figure out how can I justify this gap between the haves and the have-nots. This is when I have not either - delineated for myself as to who exactly I consider the haves and the have-nots.
How many of us read the Talisman ?
It's another thing that sound sleep is also a gift!