Allegory of the Window

Through the glass, dimly, they appeared like a repeated motion film…

The bitch gave birth to four puppies. Gender unknown; they all looked alike, except for a swop of brown, black and waxen shades and some flesh between the four. The dog who fathered them stayed closer and played with them.

On some early mornings, a man used to come peddling his cycle, with a pot full of fishes, shouting- “do you want to eat fish?” again and again, at the top of his voice. A tad dirty but otherwise a remarkably muscular fellow; evidently he chased the fishes himself. Sometimes his shouts were answered by the punters in the neighbourhood. Sometimes his shouts faded into a collective soliloquy of late sleepers: what the hell!

During the late morning hours, mothers took their babies out to get them tanned under the soft sun of the wintry days. The babies, like the puppies, looked quite alike, except for having different mothers. Their slightly older siblings toyed with whatever they found lying in the concourse of the compound. They found their mates in the puppies.

Young people didn’t prefer roaming on the concourse, except for one boy in his early twenties. He made his usual strolls in the afternoon and seemed to know almost everyone living in the four apartments inside the compound. Or else, he was courteous enough to greet even the strangers. When he was engaged with his tablet, which often accompanied him on his strolls, he would still lift his head for a fraction of a second and chivalrously duck it in a minimum acute angle, before returning to his original position: hunched over the tablet.

Other young people: the boys who used the windows to woo the girls, met outside the compound. They gestured through a sign language, or perhaps made use of their smart phones. The girls, fashionably clad, went ahead and after a few minutes the boys, normally in their casual unkempt garbs followed behind.

There was a different sort of young people, beyond the compound, in the village: simple, shy, wistful. Windows made them wistful and reminded them of choices of lives.

The garbage reeked. Bulldozers which break up earth for construction work sometimes inadvertently took away the garbage, relieving the people and also the lone sweeper. The residents continued throwing the garbage on the same site, expecting another bulldozer to come and relieve them of the stinky air.

Construction workers did not mind the stinky air, for they needed their day’s pay; neither the dogs, nor the smug and stout local political leader. He sometimes tans his body outside in the Sun and demands his servant to clip his toe nails, as he discusses his plans with his personal assistant.

Everything and everyone moved in this particular world in a leisurely pace.

Through the glass, dimly, every story repeated itself, only occasionally providing a break from the regular. Like, the other day, a fellow beat the father dog senseless for no fault of the dog, as it appeared through the glass, dimly. The fish seller disappeared since some days and two of the puppies too.

Yet, it was not irregular. The moon stood pale in the sky, like ever.

Behind the window, she stood painfully aware of the change of seasons; of coming and going; of gains and losses; and

Wishfully thinking of Cynthian moors away from the trite.

She wanted to be an anchoress; to stay away from the world. She had turned out of her life all the probable windows to the outside world. But the world travelled along with the little window, behind which she stood for light, like all prisoners of the ‘known’.

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