It had been weeks or shall I say months since I had seen him.  We share an unusual kinship. I ‘met’ him, rather, saw him regularly during my evening walks. Day after day, I saw him walking with support and reaching the park where his mates sat, chitchatting about yesteryear. Perhaps! I would never really know! For I had never spoken with him. Yet we shared a bond. That of humanity, that of evening kinship, that of an elder and younger human who acknowledge each others presence with a smile. But for that day, when after watching him with admiration for a few months I had written about him on creativbent! That’s the day I wished to talk to him. Yet I waited till two days later. I walked up to him and introduced myself. I described how I had observed his grit and determination to keep going, despite the physical constraints that confronted him. He simply smiled and nodded his head. When I told him about the  inspirational piece  I had written on him, he asked me to read it to him. There we sat, on the little wall that runs around the park, where he sat with his friends each evening.  Me squinting, without my glasses, to read from my phone screen and he listening intently. The look in his eyes communicated his feelings!  The more I read, the more overwhelmed he seemed. His friends too heard me out. Patiently! Once I had finished reading through the blog post, he seemed choked with emotion. All he said was, “Very nice. Thank you. Beautiful!”

Two days later he was not seen. I missed him during the walks. May have gone out of town. I thought. But the week turned into weeks and then months. I traveled for a month. On returning, I hoped, waited patiently to see him again. But time flew, thoughts about him recurred, but he wasn’t sighted. I asked around for him, where he lived, but his mates and the street he walked gave me no answer. Neither knew. Yet I kept my hopes high that I would sight him some day, one day!

And I did! A few days back! Walking slowly, with the walker towards the park. He looked haggard. He seemed to have aged a decade. His sophisticated, well dressed self had been replaced by someone who looked a little unkempt, shaky and anxious to meet his park friends. I was taken aback. Age had played havoc. The few interim weeks had squeezed the energy out of him. But his determination to keep going was in place.

Yet, something was amiss. Not intending to interrupt his meeting with his friends, I thought I would meet him the next day.  How wrong I was! I had missed my chance to say hello!  To find out where he had been. To ask where he lived. The opportunity that I had, had been lost!

Though I prayed that he  return next evening, I didn’t see him! He didn’t return the next evening nor the evening after. He hasn’t. That was the last time I saw him.  it has been two weeks. Shall I meet him soon?

Of course! I am sure I will see him again! Certainly! Persons with such determination as his cannot give in, that easily, can they?

In this journey of life, the unsaid bonds we forge, provide to us the shade of warmth and happiness, the joy of feeling secure, just as we would experience during a walk in an avenue when a drizzle starts up!

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