The Banyan

Those moist marbles buried in that pale white head seemed very different that afternoon. They buzzed about as always, those delicate red branches on the polished white surface were more prominent than usual but there wasn’t much change. Its funny how different people look when you learn-

“You listening?”.  My voice seemed to cut through the air. There was one one else around. He stared and his mouth framed a miserable triangle but he didn’t say anything. I had learnt that the glazed look he wore and his unbroken stare meant he had stopped listening and had lost himself in thought. The more I learnt of him the more I regretted it. He was covered with sweat and the sunlight bounced of every part of him.

“I was, I just lost track Bashkar.” Red lines cut through his pale skin marking irritated scratches. He did that often, usually when his eyes began buzzing about more frequently. He didn’t say anything else and his words rung in my ears. I could tell he was frustrated, the hanging banyan roots swung about softly, as he got up in a hurry. I looked around and wondered where everyone else was. I might have bothered apologizing a few weeks ago.I noticed how much dust covered the leaves ,the new road was ruining the place just like I predicted but the sky was still the same white and blue, there wasn’t a way to dirty it yet. I though I heard him say “Wallow Nithin” but it was probably something else given Nithin’s smirk. I wondered where he came from.

“Well Nithin?”

They were an odd pair, I wasn’t sure if they were going to continue sitting down or go away. There was less shade around thanks to the road widening, so there wasn’t much point sitting there anymore. Suddenly it seemed funny, sitting under that dusty tree in the afternoon. Dust flew everywhere and sunlight made it hard to see anything. They were an odd pair. I wasn’t sure what to say, so I said nothing. Bhaskar looked like a victim of a very hungry vampire and his wet eyes didn’t seem to know how to focus on anything. I didn’t know the other one’s name but I’d seen him around, staring at things. They were always by the banyan tree, the weirdos. The other one was cloud gazing.

“Caught Abdul’s madness I see. Well, I should stop spending so much time with him.”

Bhaskar laughed at what I think was supposed to be a joke and Abdul -so that was his name- stared. The whole thing felt forced.I didn’t know either of them. I didn’t like either of them. I regretted stumbling upon them.

“Lets head over to the ground man.”

“I’ll stay here only”

That was the only thing Abdul said before he started humming a tune and picked up a fallen leaf and began playing with it.I was glad to leave, everyone would be at the ground.

I saw them leave, the zipping cars, trucks and black fumes under the blazing sun made it impossible for me to think of anything. It felt weird not having a response but the leaf distracted me soon enough. So many shades of brown between those veins that resembled bones. If decay made things as pretty as a died up leaf people might not fear age,death and time so much.I wished I could have sat there like I used to but without the trees around you could see the sky, and the sky threw,light,heat and dust at you. I couldn’t decide if the sky was a light shade of blue, or white. Its surprising how different a place can look with a few things missing.

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