Harmonies and Haphazards
Street vendors whirl across their neatly kept plastic wrapped pickles, ridding them of flies and moths, covering them from unforeseen dust-storms, awaiting their customers but no one arrives. Cotton candies lose their fluff in the force of air, gas balloons behaving wildlike in the wind. A teeming group of children dashing round the park asking their fathers to buy them this or that only to be forced away from the hawkers, empty handed.
All of this occurs at the same time, at a place same as mine. While I quietly sit and watch amid untimely afternoons, quietly giving in to an overcast sky. Till rainstorms wash off the very existence of roadside mobs. I observe every flinch of a child, tripping on their toes, every traffic signal turning red to yellow to green – directions and instructions that no one seems to follow. They don't mind, they don't have the time to.
I see them – interlocking a gaze, passing out judgements, spitting facts and gulping disappointments over a generation of frustrated vagabonds; unaware of where their troubles come from or how to favourably solve any of them. I slowly walk away from all of it, vanishing amid the crowd unnoticeably. That's the beauty of it. When you are right in the middle of a crowd, jostling your way out, pacing back and forth, faster than the ones in front of you but slower than the ones behind, you are stuck in the middle of it all. You forget to rest. Eyes watch you, judge you, mock you even when they don't, but you do.
You are unseen yet exposed like wildfire, you are unnamed yet labelled strictly onto their memories, you forget to breathe and swirl out of the crowd, fast enough to be forgotten.
You follow their footsteps even when they don't lead you where you are supposed to be going. Following blindly as lines of ants do in hunt for food. For them, though, it is a hunt for a place.
Somewhere to belong to, to be meant something to someone, to be loved.
Some name it an escape. Some call it a home.
The writer is a student of Marketing at the University of Dhaka.