It was a dark cold gloomy night, when I heard a sound of glass being broken into pieces! I was sitting in my arm chair trying to relax after a day full of all sort of work and tensions of day to day life. That noise dashed into the pin-drop silence of the night and banged into my ears. I came out of my room and gazed through the dark verandah which was lit up only by a weak street light but no body was there and it was all quiet out there..I went back to my room and closed the doors. I sat in again and closed my eyes to relax and suddenly again that noise came in banging and this time I took it seriously and draped a shawl around myself to prevent myself from cold wind and went out to check out what exactly was there….?
As I went out, to my surprise….I saw a long dark black shadow in front of me! I felt numb and fearful. I gathered all my courage and asked…” who are you?” That shadow went a bit away from me. I asked again and the shadow started to move away from me! I went after that shadow and at the end of the road of the colony I saw an old man draped in a blanket standing in front of me! I asked him, “who are you & what are you doing out here in this cold winter night?” His eyes only kept gazing into mine for some seconds and then he broke his silence and replied…”I am very hungry and I haven’t had meals properly since 3 days hence I was searching for some food articles in the dustbin outside your house.”
I felt very bad & asked him to come over so that I may provide him with some food items. He came to my house and sat in the verandah…shivering with cold. I gave him some left over hot daal and chapattis to eat .His eyes got lit up with happiness and he almost snatched the food from my hand and started gulping it quickly. I sat there on a chair and asked him, “Why don’t you do anything to earn your living?” He stopped for a while and then looked at me and replied…”My child, you won’t believe…I was the owner of a full-fledged business empire but got a punishment of trusting some wrong people about the business matters. They mislead me and broke my trust and ousted me from my property and business. I am too old now to start anything new and hence I am forced to beg for my living….” A tear rolled down from his eyes through his wrinkled cheeks and he started eating again!
I was shocked & stunned to know about his reality and went into deep thoughts. Suddenly sound of closing of gate banged into my ears and I got up shockingly and that old man was not there! I rushed towards the main gate of my house and saw that long dark shadow going away slowly and steadily towards the path unknown and vanished into the darkness of that night…