The bench was originally meant for the constables stationed at the run-down traffic police booth under the fly over. For years he had used it and they had let him. Like clock work he appeared at six in the evening, sat on the bench and watching the flowing traffic till night fell and it became hard for him to see.
He left his house at a fixed hour each day and walked towards his favourite bench. With each passing year his pace became slower, the steps more painful and the distance longer. In spite of the deteriorating physical condition, he never let go of his routine. No one really understood why a man his age walked all that distance to sit on an oddly-placed bench, wordlessly watching the traffic, ignoring everything and everyone else around him. He knew no one really could understand why he did that.
To others it was a mindless activity but to him it filled a void. Peopling zipping past meant that they were in a hurry to reach somewhere. If they were driving that fast at 6 pm in all probability it implied that they were in a hurry to get back home. Home- a place where loving families eagerly awaited the return of their family members. A place filled with happiness, love and laughter. A place where people felt at peace. If their homes didn’t possess these features, they wouldn’t be in a rush to get back, would they? They would then be like him- alone, unwanted and unhappy.
At his advanced age all he wanted was a loving family. He knew that was something he wasn’t going to get. He wished his children loved him and cared for him as much as his wife had. But they didn’t. And he had learnt to live with that. That’s why he spent so many hours watching traffic. It made him think of happier families and for some reason beyond logic, it offered him solace.
Picture credit-Google Images
Note: as usual,this is a reality-inspired story.