After 3 straight days of grey clouds and steady rain, the monsoon weather eased up on the Friday. As the day wore on, the sky became bluer, the whitish haze blushing with streaks of burnished gold.
Hurrying out of the building at 6:30 pm, he happened to look up into the horizon. It had been a long day of a long week spent hunched over the laptop. For a change, he was leaving the office before sunset. For Mumbai, this evening had unusually delightful weather; the humidity could be ignored, the cooling breeze was actually steady rather than teasing in wisps and everywhere, he could sense a gently uplifting buzz. It was a day to be getting out of office early, meeting up with friends, savouring a meal with a beer on the side, perhaps. An evening meant to be wrapped in laughter and bonhomie.
No matter how strong the craving, he would be partaking of none of these. Enough people would want to grab a drink; he didn't feel like meeting them. He could not face the prospect of another weekend spent dozing, watching tv and meeting cheerless relatives. Not after the work-week he'd had.
Once again, he was at the Dadar Asiad station, waiting for the bus to Pune. Going home... the words were meant to taste a lot better when he mouthed them. The idea of it was supposed to bring comfort instantly. For the longest time, it had done all of that. Only recently however, the taste was starting to sour. The feeling was steadily turning hollow.
Going home was supposed to energise, not enervate.
Somewhere out there, he imagined, friends were meeting, laughing and sharing a meal.
Hunched over, he stepped into the bus. For home.
Song for the moment: Karma Police - Radiohead