The skies are dark, the clouds are low and close to the earth. The coconut palms are swaying as I sip my cup of coffee and watch the birds flying home into the western horizon. It feels like it is going to be another moonless night, the clouds are dark and hint at the rains that would follow tonight.
The book I am reading lies on my bed, his photograph tucked in to mark the page I was on. I stopped reading not because the rains were impending or because the book was boring, but because of the photograph. It was distracting. A bit too much.
He was smiling in his favourite green shirt, the right wrist sporting his Chinese Rado that he had had gifted himself on his birthday, his eyes twinkling as if he was hiding a secret from me. I was the one taking his photo, but I don’t remember what we were talking about before that click, probably it was a joke or maybe as usual he was pulling my leg. I wish I could remember.
These days I try to recollect each and every fragment of conversation we had shared in the past.
His violin lay in the corner, gathering dust. I pick up a rag cloth and try to wipe it clean, like how he liked it to be. There is a stubborn stain of something on the case that I can’t get rid of, like the adamant thoughts of mine which wouldn’t let him go. I tried telling myself that it was no use, that he had gone to a place from where there was no return. No matter how much I tried, I still could not comprehend how somebody who had hugged me in the morning and gone to the college, just ceased to exist. How is that even possible. I could not fathom what those people might have been thinking when they lit his pyre. Did they know that they were burning my world too?
The people who had come hearing the news tried telling me that he had gone to a better place and that God takes back those people whom he loves more and all such nonsense. It was I who lost my only family, my world had ceased to exist with him, my baby brother.
I was somehow not fascinated by the idea of taking my own life just because I had no reasons to be alive anymore. I prayed every night that I should not wake up the next morning, that this should be the last time I go to bed, that the next day I should also be burned like how he was, thinking that that would probably give me the pain he went through before he was reduced to a pile of ashes. Perhaps tonight would be the night, there would be a deluge and there wouldn’t be me anymore.