A Cold Night in the City

The city was cold, literally. December. The dry, numbing and chilling air was making its presence felt across the city.
At last winters were here. This winter was no different to him. In fact, he was just like the weather. Cold, dry, harsh and numb. So it was not bothering him at all. It was a late night and he was sitting in one of the dark corners of the city, Sipping tea from his plastic cup, lost and sad, he thought “why winters make everything Around so dull, sorrowful and miserable?
There was a killing silence at that hour of the time. With no traffic on the roads and traffic lights blinking aimlessly, town blanketed in fog reminded him of the fictional Gotham City from Batman movies. Tea seller looked at him as he was wrapping up the stall to go back to the home. But he was totally unaffected by the presence of any human being around him.
As the night was getting darker and the fog was becoming denser, everything started freezing. His body went pale and shivered, but his mind was in a different state of turmoil. It was more affected by the crippling thoughts than the temperature. He felt paralyzed.
Just like the cold water inside a frozen pond, human feelings such as love, compassion, care were trapped somewhere inside him but he failed to find them. Getting them out of his rusty system was another difficult task. His mind continuously went back and forth, comparing cruelness of the winters with cruelness of his life, he was trapped into the flashback of his earlier life.
That life when everything around him was cheerful, sunny, bright and warm. He couldn’t help but reconcile a quote from Don Draper, the famous protagonist of one of the best TV series “Mad Men” that shook him.
“When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him. He has a million reasons for being anywhere, just ask him. If you listen, he’ll tell you how he got there. How he forgot where he was going, and that he woke up. If you listen, he’ll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel or dreamt of being perfect.”
He was an angel, he thought. He was pure and clear. He was not cold once. He was warm and bright. And now, sitting here, hurt, dejected, on the deathbed of emotions he thought he just got lost and ended up in some kind of other-world. His heart was aching all the time. His body was functional somehow, but the pain he was going through was tremendous.
He imagined himself as Jesus, crucified, naked, drowned in the blood, with a crown of thorns on his head, big iron nails drilled into his palms and feet. But still, he was smiling with calmness on his face, giving the illusion that he is fine or he is doing fine.But soon he came back to the life.
To think what is happening to him. Caught in a web of commotion, he questioned and counter-questioned his own self — what’s this? What’s happening to him? What is eating him? He thought for a second. Feeling the ferocious nature of winters, he thought “This is why people use words like “cold” and “bitter” while defining the personality of a human being like him.
In spite of being surrounded by the hustle bustle and crowd of the metropolis all the time, he was being murdered by a strange kind of silence and loneliness. He checked the time on his watch. 2:45 Am. He lit a cigarette. Picked up his jacket from the bench and started walking towards his “So-called home”.

Author – Jagtar Shergill


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