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A Pact With The Sun
by Padmaparna Ghosh
It felt like the end of the world. The night was dark, the street was empty but my heart was emptier. I was thankful for the anonymous cover of the night, glad that nobody could sense my agony and desperation. I wished the night would never end. It was a foreign land, no smiling faces, and no touch of comfort. Walking back to my desolate apartment, another void, I had no wish to live anymore. Life had rejected me, happiness had brushed me off; loneliness walked along with me, my only companion.

I had landed in the �City of triumph� three months back, with empty pockets and a heart full of dreams. After three months all that is left is an unfulfilled dream. I had been optimistic and refused to believe in the off chance of failure. I had shut my eyes to the countless hopeless wanderers like me. I had been full of energy but I was worn out now.

I had set off in the quest for a job, restless and raring to go. Confident optimism had turned to hope which then gave way to quiet concern, then to a nagging worry before finally collapsing into sheer desperation. I had been ready to give up and accept defeat when I had landed a job, enough to survive. I started my life again, started believing again. The job had been a tedious and boring one at a miserably depressing office. I had had a minuscule cabin there, where my endless fantasies lay buried now. Although it had numbed my mind with its monotony, it had always served as a foundation on which I could depend my dreams, keep them alive. Even that last beacon of hope had deserted me. I lost my job today.

I felt worst about my gullible parents who were waiting back home for an ecstatic long-distance phone call announcing immeasurable success and prosperity, ignorant and in the dark about the trials and travails I have had to go through. I come from a very humble background where I have had to fight my way through years of faded points of view and defeated purposes. I had taken up the challenge and had braved innumerable scorning faces and ridicule.

I was dizzy with exhaustion now as I climbed up the stairs to my apartment. I went out to sit by the fire escape, which was my only window to the world. I looked up and wondered where my sun was. What was I supposed to look up to? What was I to seek out in my sky? How was I to find my North, my South? I couldn�t think anymore and was falling into deeper, darker places. My sun was put out and I thought to myself that if the sun comes up tomorrow morning then I wouldn�t be able to face it. I felt safe and cocooned, and I started hallucinating, tried to convince the sun not to show up, not to make fun of me again. Let it be like this, let me rest. And I closed my eyes.

I woke up with a start to a jarring sound and the light struck my eyes like a sword. It took me some time to locate the sound. It was the doorbell. I walked to the door fighting a dazed feeling. It was my next-door neighbor handing me an envelope, he said, � You came late at night yesterday, I forgot to hand it over. I am sorry.� He left and I tore open the envelope. It was a confirmation letter for a job I had applied to long time back.

It was a beautiful morning. 
23-Feb-2003
 
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