I was strolling on the road inside our college periphery after five; with no intention to reach anywhere except to keep on walking. Faraway, in the distant horizon, crimson sun was shedding its last orange rays as the dark clouds and twilight began to shroud it in their dominance. The road where I walk gave me a majestic feeling as the boulevard of old thick trees stood like magnificent soldiers to ensure my safety. Such leisure walks are needed to relax my tensed nerves and head after a weeklong of examination schedule.

The cold wintry breeze humming as it blew brought the contentment in my mind.
The kind atmosphere put the irresistible feeling in me to be outside tonight. So, I decided to resume being outside after dinner. It’s already dark when I returned to the hostel. It was Ruskin Bond who wrote that twilight really is short-lived in the Indian plains and I found a truth in his words.

After seven, I sat on the concrete stairs overlooking the football ground. Some crazy football lovers were still on the ground, listlessly yet tirelessly kicking the ball; if only the love is insurmountable then anytime can be negotiated to exercise the love. These footballers seem to do the same. Provided the ball and the ground, they really don’t seem to care about the time they play the game. They might be having bat’s eyes I wondered.

Beyond the football field, two rumbling lengthy trains exchanged their directions- a dark cargo train which looked like a ghost carrier, silhouetted against the backdrop of the distant lights of the town, and another where passengers were seen leaning against the carriage windows. The latter probably would have been Mahananda for only its heavy iron wheels haunts this tracks frequently. It would be the one to take us back home after a month for it was also the one which brought us here for the past two semesters.

The night-players left the field- they seem to mind their time finally- and the resilient silence returned to the abandoned ground. In the solemn silence, I could hear an unseen creatures singing. These singers might have been forbidden to put up the performance in the open daylight or perhaps they are timid, as they incessantly sang from the bushes nearby the field. The song subsided when the rising crescendo of the evening prayers flowing from the mosque nearby then trounced it under the intensity of its decibel. It’s the time Muslim brothers prostate in their temple. So, I stood up to leave. It’s enough for today I thought as I began to walk back.

Few guards passed the road before me- their long wooden stick on their handlebar of the cycle- tinkling merrily on their way as they pedaled to their home. After a daylong of tedious job of standing near the gate and guarding the doors, they rejoice in their break hours. They are the one who knows the value of sleep unlike me.

It was already past nine when I sauntered towards the hostel, listening to my favourite track. Just then, a noisy biker zoomed past me knocking furiously, spoiling the beauty of the serene night. They need to be disciplined. They've no respect for the passerby. It agitated me. However, I reminded myself that I should not be the one to spoil by own night by being angry. So, I just kept calm.

On the chair, with the muffled head, the guard on duty squinted at me. I saluted casually- my usual gesture of greeting and bidding goodnight to him. Seeing him, I realised how lucky I am; being me itself is a blessing.

Before retreating to sleep, booming of the crackers was heard outside. And it came to my knowledge that the following day is Diwali. Definitely, it would be a big day waiting to be celebrated with booming crackers, merry songs and divine prayers as it’s an annual occasion – an auspicious occasion indeed. 

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