The River Thought – Thangbiakching, Delhi

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The sound of the river overshadowed the noise of all things else as he sits quietly in the chair parked near the river. He remained still as he observe nothing and everything. The wind hustled. His brown wavy hair danced with the wind as he sits blankly still. He is 25, yet he felt 45. Covered in his oversized brown windproof jacket and olive green pants, and a worn out running shoes, he is layered well for the season. No one comes around the park in February, especially in the wee hour of the morning when the sun is set still. Even if they do, they do not sit and stay. And he likes it that way. He loves the quiet. He looks on over the river, looking at nothing in particular, going over what happened the night before in his mind.
“Did I do the right thing?”
He sighed and looked down as he ran his hand through his hair. He loved his mother dearly. He feared his father still. And his brother, younger to him by 8 years, was a responsibility he did not mind. That was what he had been telling himself ever since they were kids. Now at 25, it seemed to overburden him with the choices he has to make.
He went over the details in his mind again.
“Mom would have wanted me to do the same.”
He leaned forward resting his arm on his knees and looked down as he prayed for all moments possible to pass. “Why?” He had asked himself several times before, yet he could never really find the answer.

The pastor at the church his mother insisted they attend tells him we are born to glorify the name of the Lord. He pertains the purpose of all nature being is to glorify His name. He pressed his thumb on both his eyebrows and thought how easy life would be if he could just believe it. He at times felt envious of his mother and her church, accepting things as they were, finding good in the worse, seeing the positive in everything. But he just could not; he had to ask, “Why?”
He disliked dogs. They seemed too eager to please. And he hated their wagging tails. Though he could find no reason why he hated or disliked them. He had no other reason than the mere reason of disliking them. At times this reminded him of the facts of his life, why he was where he was. Maybe it just was, and maybe it just is.

He looked on over the river as he put both his palms together as if he had come to a decision, a commitment he knew and believed he would stick to for the entirety of his life. He always wanted to surf the wave, maybe he will someday. He always wanted to go for a holiday somewhere nice. And he always wanted to become a singer. Although he now realize that he is not that good of a singer as his mother made him believed to be when he was less than 10 years of age; but he was always his mothers’ favourite singer. At least that was what she always used to say. He relish the memory. He remembered thinking he would one day become famous and buy a big house for his family in the city where his mother would not have to work anymore, and his father would finally be proud of him and admit that he was wrong whenever he termed him as good for nothing. His lips curved slightly at the ignorant fantasies of his younger self as he released a sound that was more a sarcastic snort to himself than a smile.

Then there were times he wondered how she was doing… his first love and first kiss when he was a bare 15 years old. She had left the morning after, and it was in this same park where they said their goodbyes with that first and last kiss. It seems life is what it is. And he has accepted that, even though there were times he questioned his life and its existence. He took his phone out of his pocket and checked his bank balance again. Fifty nine rupees.
He sighed.
“It is worth it.” He reassured himself. He missed his mother dearly and wished she was still with them. He does miss his father at times; it would have been nice to have someone to hold the support other than himself. It has been 6 years since they passed, and there was never a moment he didn’t wished they were still there with them. But life is what it is.
He sighed.
He looked at his bank balance again. “It is worth it.”

He closed his eyes and pressed his knuckles, “He will do well in the city.” He nodded his head and prayed to his mothers’ God for things to work well for his little brother, and for all things that were uncertain. He then took a deep breath and stood up. He sees the sun about to rise, and he once again remembers the words of the pastor. For reasons unknown to himself, he felt betrayed and tired. All this shall pass, he told himself as he walked over to the tree behind him where he left his long broom, and starts sweeping the park.

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