The streets are invisible; only the shadows can be seen.
The sound of my footsteps and the crunching gravel tell me that I walk on ground, otherwise, I can barely see my shoes.
It’s not the same as darkness — darkness is bearable. Darkness is unknown.
Shadows aren’t, and yet this acquaintance increases the distrust.
There are no streetlights, only a faint glow from the nearby houses, mixing with the twilight to create more shadows.
It’s a struggle for my eyes to see my own feet, clad in black converse they go on doing what I want them to do, like a pair of anonymous machines. The walk is like a metaphor for my journey to self discovery — the streets represent my clouded, hidden soul which I have yet to discover fully.
The footpath is laden with dung — dogs, cats, cows and humans — everybody considers the streets as their litter-box. The stench is a strange mixture of the sweet, the pungent and the downright disgusting. And yet, it’s subtle — it dissolves into the background and becomes invisible.
It’s about time that the streets get rid of the shit all over it.
Walking on the streets is a daunting task. It requires experience and dexterity — dodging garbage and poop, with barely any light, is not the job of the faint-hearted.
Some boys are playing cricket in the nearby park. They are teenagers, most of them must be of seventeen, of my age.
Their hoarse laughter increases my heartbeat — something in me senses danger.
That fear of being assaulted — is it okay for a boy to be frightened like this?
The shadows play strange tricks.
I remember the incidents my girlfriends had told me; about being groped and molested.
Why do I think about them now?
Whenever I see a dark figure walking towards me, I clutch my mobile more firmly.
My pace increases as I hear some dogs barking in the distance. I hate dogs.
Some children are giggling a few feet away.
Their giggles sound out of place in the streets. They should go home.
Finally, I see some streetlights.
It’s a small market.People have lined up in the front of the dairy to get their evening quota of milk.
I try to avoid touching them as I walk past the people with steel canisters. The people are filthy.
The frightening part is over. The rest of the path is well-lit.
After buying a bottle of juice from the nearby store, I start to walk again.
Home is not far away.