Walking In Grey

The house was close enough to walk to but far enough to make you wish you didn’t have to.The sky was grey and it wouldn’t be long before I regretted not braving steep auto fares.

I hopped between the grey of the pavement and the grey of the road. Wet mud clung to my soles, my shoes annihilating tiny clear water puddles. A slightly messy but very enjoyable distraction. Most people would cross to the other side of the road, near the posh houses but I chose to stay near the greener walls. They were covered with graffiti. A giant rat and a Telugu actress stared at me.

The walls were usually urine soaked but today seemed cleaner. Beyond the wall- police quarters, a huge marriage hall. Funny how people decided to urinate in the posher areas of town.The trees that grew near the light brown walls had dark branches and trunks. Like the drizzle before had sunk into the wood. The leaves were still covered with water that rained down and had pedestrians shoot questioning glances at the sky. The puddles echoed and rippled unobserved.

The few people outside huddled and drank steaming tea underneath awings that had collect enough water to bathe for weeks and stray dogs sniffed from underneath wet vehicles. It was drizzling now, but I just wanted to get as soon as possible. Lights went on inside a few homes. It got darker but didn’t rain more heavily. A few people shot me weird looks but only for a few seconds. Three auto wallas huddled in an auto. A fourth auto driver on the drivers seat, stroked his beard and began shuffling cards. A fifth, under another awing, drank tea and stared at them.

I got to my lane but stopped before I went inside. I realized every window on the street was covered with droplets of water slowly making their way down. I was back before the windows got hard to see through. I recalled how I used to watch the droplets race down windows when I was a kid. I looked outside one of my windows and realized that the sky was dark as night and it would rain in earnest now.

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