He was sitting in the porch this time, after a long time.

These days when I go there, he would be in hiding. I know it and don’t make any attempt to reach out. I have always been like this – once a relationship is frayed, I would rather let it be as it is, it might nag at the back of the heart often but I never take a step to mend it. But this is no ordinary relationship.

His silver hair all astray. I think he stopped dyeing long back. He had same amount of hair for a long time – bald on top, hair on top of forehead grown lengthier to comb all the way back, with shoots of hair from both sides. I asked him if he was not getting a haircut. He said he is ok, it is just that the wind has blown it.

I took my seat at the usual side of bamboo sofa. Mosquitoes were making merry and someone tried to close the door – I said he is sitting outside. He said it is fine, close it.

While I was leaving, I mumbled something as to what he was doing, he said something back. I see him listening to the kids shrieking with laughter from the silly game they were playing. Then that familiar glint in the eye and tightening of the jaw that I come to recognize which puts a heavy stone on my heart.

I wish afterwards I had hugged him and forget everything, just like old times. 


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