The dim neon glow of the time piece blinked at her in complete darkness like an admirer in a secret tryst. She twisted and turned on the warm sheets beneath her. The fan swirled a heavy air laden with 45 degree centigrade of warmth down at her. It kissed and patted her to sleep on her cold sticky cheeks. Her flowery kurta swayed against her olive skin. She looked far beyond the solid ceiling above at the navy blue night sky and the smoky clouds. Not a single star in sight but groups of grey clouds hung in the bland canvas giving away vague hopes of a long awaited rain. A sharp hollow voice penetrated through the speedy fans and walls and reached her while she lay there motionless, a statue with eye balls in restless motion as if trying to escape its confinement.
Maulvi saab’s lips almost touched the rusted loudspeaker as he cleared his throat. His high pitched vocals broke the ominous night silence but delivered only an unintelligible announcement of a man’s death in the neighbourhood. The message lost its way into the thick veils of still air.
Her dark pupils came to a sudden halt. She thought of the dead man, a faceless, nameless being who ‘strut and fret his hours upon the stage’ in Shakespearean style, in the end only to be consumed by a deadly life. She let out a sigh and turned on her stomach. Sleep tried to steal away her insomnia. But she was waiting. Until then she would stay awake all the while absorbing the hidden pieces of peace dispersed by the sounds of fans and air conditioners. Just then the moment arrived. She put the twinkling thoughts in her mind to a hush. The fan above stopped rotating, nearby a generator’s hum tickled its way through the window. She took in the sweaty, humid air and went to sleep in a comfort that only her city could offer.