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For all to see

He’s a harmless man,

A little bent over,

And a lot more intent than a typical bystander.

He could have dropped something

Maybe of great value and even greater worth,

Not a penny,

But more like a wad of pounds.

But his intent gaze

Is eons beyond the construct of money.

It searches for something fine.

Maybe a reminiscent ring,

Last of its kind,

Or a precious piece of paper

Torn from its kin,

With the chosen word

From all they intended to say.

A sudden gust of wind

And all around him,

The autumn leaves fall,

As though to envelop him in the embrace he has lost.

Or maybe to hide from him what he seeks.

These autumn leaves are not ripe in their shedding yet,

They’re just turning yellow,

Just giving into the impulse to leave

With only warm memories within.


Some hold on more than others;

Yet some green ones fall too.

As if teasing us,

For we can’t really ever know;

Their intent in letting go.

The ground at his feet,

Impeccably neat a few moments ago,

Is strewn with remains of what is now fodder

For another.

It’s almost romantic,

The picture of a medium man,

Framed against a pavement of green-speckled yellow.

It’s his move now.

Will he part ways

From this canopy of shade?

Or will he persist in his pursuit?

He moves!

He’s retrieving something

Hidden behind the gnarly trunk

That he's stood faithfully beside.

He’s found it.

With a wide stretch,

Each limb quivers with movement,

And within minutes,

The pavement is neat again.

The leaves returned to their open grave.

And he walks on,

Whistling serendipitous tunes,

To the Wind of Change.

His hands holding the broom

And his head,

The meaning of a work well done.

As a child, "guess what is their story, or Impressions" is one of the most engaging game I've played. Waves of strangers were painstakingly dissected and their most probable life stories chosen as the winner from our group of over-curious, almost quarter-grown humans. More than anything, this game brought about a strange kind of intimacy, between ourselves, and the rest of the world. Maybe a gamification of we are all in this together. Harmless game really, for a group of children.

But as we grew, the game stuck, the stories became bigger and the search for meaning resided in another's life with ours oft discarded as uninteresting or unworthy for a second look. In whatever we see, or find, what leaves us most intrigued is the unknowable, the intent. And knowing that or correctly perceiving it in collective consensus is what enables most of us to sleep contended at night, in a world of dreams, as far away from reality as the collective consensus oft is.

For those of you who have played this game, you would recognize it as a part of your fabric today, and for others, there's Instagram.

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2 commenti

I loved the write-up at the end. I am always inventing these stories about people I see/meet simultaneously trying to fit my preconceived notions and stereotypes in a mould of neutrality :)

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Aishwarya Jayal
Aishwarya Jayal
07 feb 2022
Risposta a

Thank you Vipul. I do that often too, which makes me think of the whys and the hows of my own worldviews and limits/boundaries of subconscious understanding! and of course, more often than not discuss that with friends that have an intent of exploration within and without :)

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