Amma first met her husband as a sixteen year old on the day of her wedding. She had a surreal memory of him sitting through jocular jibes of friends and family with a smile on his face that made her fall in in irrevocable love. The same people and laughter accompanied her through decades of marriage, birth of two sons, innocent childhoods, the pain of watching them move away for greener pastures, their respective weddings and her husband’s death (twelve years, two months and three days ago). Thereafter, she was alone.
The street is lined with palatial houses on either side. The houses are defended; ornamented rather, by rows of tall trees. The driveways are littered with expensive cars whose polished, curvaceous bodies are glimmering in the moonlight. The soft illumination from the moon amalgamates with the well crafted lines of metal to form sharp, beautiful patterns on the strong, dark exteriors. The owners of the cars are sleeping soundly in their houses and the guards are fast asleep in their cabins. The night is overpowered by whirring sounds of air conditioners. As the clock strikes four, the street lights switch off like clockwork. It is pitch dark after the lights go out.
He lived in one of those dilapidated buildings that sprout up when no one is noticing. His room stood at the end of a dank corridor only half filled with light. The sparse illumination was accompanied by intermittent sounds of fluctuations from the faulty bulbs. It was raining outside and a dripping wall had created a puddle that seeped in from under his door. It brought along a suffocating mustiness.
He looked down from the large window of his room. There were people milling in the street below, appearing to be ants from the height he was standing at. His workplace was right opposite. Looking up, he saw the symbol of his employer branded permanently in the evening sky. He had invested his best years and considerable intellectual capabilities to ensure that symbol kept glowing. It was the reason he lived where he did.