Tale of a Night Walk

Tale of a Night Walk

Krishan remains spellbound. Not a single person seems known. They’re wearing oversize pants and full-sleeve jackets. Their hands are covered with gloves.  Most surprisingly, their heads and faces are covered with peculiar masks. 

Krishan looks at his own and then at the surroundings. It seems he is unnoticed by most of them, scattered here and there. He finds a salon. None is there. He feels awkward. Then he goes toward a mirror. Now he can recognize himself wearing his favorite white on black, striped nightdress. Suddenly, one person comes out from a mirrored door. He asks,

‘Welcome to city’s most modern salon.’

Krishan goes towards a typical chair. The man then asks, ‘What can I do for you?’

‘I want to wear your dress.’

‘Sorry, I can’t help you. This is very unique and we can’t let you to wear.’

‘Why you’re wearing them?’

The man has a transparent visor in front of his head and face gear. Krishan can see movement of his lips and eyes. The man smilingly replies,

‘This time all schools are closed. If you reveal your address, I can suggest one near your place. You can gather knowledge from there.’

Krishan quickly gets down and rushes towards the front door.

‘Sir, I’m yet to know your desire.’

Without answering, Krishan decides to stroll a little. Slowly he can now recognize the street, the lamp posts and also the buildings. But everything is changed to some extent. All are painted white stripes on blue. Windows are blocked with microporous nets. There are automatic side-swapping glass doors at the entrance. Now he can find a few persons like him, wearing no special dress. On standing at the entrance, one slot is opening above the head and a gaseous substance comes out to sanitize. A little while after, it gets evaporated and then he is allowed to enter.

Krishan feels hungry. He walks past the building to find a restaurant. He is treated exactly same as he found a person sanitized little before. He enters and finds a table. Not so much foodies are seated there. One man with the special dress is sipping orange juice from a transparent sealed glass and the straw is pierced through the visor. Another is watching television where a sci-fi film is showing. He goes toward the service table and presses for milk shake. One similar glass pops out of the desk. Krishan is confused first but he manages to hold it and starts to drink traditionally. He feels relaxed now and wants to return to his home. 

He feels surprised at the entrance of his own house when the sanitization work begins to work.  Someone with the uniform opens the door of his bedroom and he decides to lie down. The sight of some masks suddenly catches his eye. He jumps out quickly. Mom is standing there before. Krishan just hears,

‘My dear, when you’ll be out, please don’t forget to wear them. Please care for yourself and for others also.’

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Arupam Maity
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