It was drizzling. Wanting to hurry up and be home at the earliest, I hired an auto and jumped in. The roads were full of muck. My feet got some of it too. Gosh, I left the clothes hanging outside. They would have been soaked again. I need to pick up milk. I will make onion paratha today. Do I have to buy tomatoes? Oh, the Cornflakes jar has to be refilled. It’s been long since I spoke to dad. Tomorrow I might have to work till late, yet again. That call needs to be made to the agency. Bhaiyya, yahan rokiyega. Do minute mein aati hoon. I picked up milk from the corner-shop. Sitting in the auto again, before I could drift to my mind’s wanderings, I noticed some movement along the trees on the road-side. I heard a duet of nervous giggle, as I saw one teenage couple emerging out. The boy held the girl’s hand firmly and they hurried past. It was quite late. Probably the girl had to be home, only to answer the waiting parents.

It warmed my heart. That vulnerable age, the innocence, the excitement, the hush-hush secret, the grown-up feeling, all came rushing back to me. My mind was wandering again, but now, in a different direction altogether.