‘Hey man, how are you?’
Though answered, Aditi asked again.
‘Where is your friend?’
Smilingly, he murmured. There was always beautiful chemistry between the two. Aditi could read Mukesh well and he liked to answer all her gesture. Without losing a shine on his long-bearded face and shaking his long-haired head, he brought out his friend from the side bag and showed him before her.
‘Yeah, so now the devil appears.’
Another gesture and Mukesh slapped the dumb box to speak. No sound just a growling humming came out. Aditi nodded to convince that she could recognize its identity.
‘Here’s your food for you and your friend. Finish it quickly.’
It seemed that today Mukesh was in a great mood. He picked up the packet in front of his nose and asked,
‘What is there?’
With hand gestures, she told him to open the aluminium food box and with eye language, assured,
‘It’s Khichuri inside…your favourite meal and also the right time to eat.’
The situation all around had made Aditi swear on her own.
‘Oh God, please forgive me. Let the good days come and I’ll feed this poor guy a better food.’
Aditi already spent a lot more time than required and expected that the boys would definitely call her up. It’s true. They started calling.
‘Hey Aditi, why spend so much time behind the mad man? Come fast. We’re to cover the whole area. It’s a big task.’
It was a real bad time for everybody all around. The existence of people was at stake. There was no medicine and no vaccine discovered yet to fight the deadly virus. The world was getting slowly collapsed by the menace.
Before stepping down the stairs of the portico, Aditi once wished if she can touch the poor guy and console her own.
‘Don’t worry friend. We’ll be always beside you. Live your life at your wish. We don’t want to lose you.’
As her sandal just touched the road, she could hear the voice of Bipul, the house owner from the first-floor terrace.
‘Good job, Arati.’
The road was yet to dry completely from the rain overnight. There were muds elsewhere. Aditi slightly slipped with her right foot and Bipul alerted immediately. She managed somehow,
‘Thanks, uncle, once again.’
‘Mention not, Aditi, take care for all yourselves.’
‘Uncle, keep watch at him and please don’t evict now. I’m scared. He’s unaware of the virus threat.’
She turned her head to see behind. Mukesh already finished the meal and was busy talking to his friend.
Years passed. The devastation ended but with huge casualties. Aditi grew older. One morning, she showed up at Pratik’s shop.
‘…an antique indeed…’
‘Is it working now?’
‘See on your own.’
Very lazily, Aditi switched on the radio and it immediately came on live. She fondly touched it and spoke on her own,
‘Be happy wherever you’re, my friend. Your hummingbird is now my responsibility.’
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