"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




It began as a distant voice outside my window - on a relaxed Sunday morning, while I lay on my back, half-asleep, half-watching the interplay of sun beams on my wall, feeling the surreptitiously drifting in morning breeze and wishing that my room was somewhere in the hills right now. Initially, the uttering was muffled. As it got less vague, i think it went something like..  "Life.. is just a cause to live. Nobody knows where it leads, yet people live! A few aimlessly, a few blissfully, a few passionately, a few scornfully.. they all make their way through the uncertainties of life, where only one thing is certain. Everything will live, and everything will die."

I got curious to investigate. It was strange my folks were not up yet. I walked to the front gate and found the street garnished with a dressing of saffron robes. A wave of seeming volunteers had washed up like those crabs that sea waves bring in. Their dress was plain albeit with a face sketched on each of their chest. They seemed youthful, walked all over the street, gesturing and greeting the bystanders - like one of those holiday parades.

One of them with a coarse looking face walked past me. The sketch on his dress showed a face with long hairs wore in a bandana, quite like that Che Guevara guy. He waved a 'Hi' at me, I waved back. Another one across the street had the sketch of Fidel Castro look alike on his robe. It was no-wonder these guys were walking together. Following them were two very composed youth. One was younger than the other and he had a similar young looking face sketched on his robe. This face had cloth wrapped around its head and broad cheeks like Swami Vivekananda. The older youth had a sketch of a bald headed face with eyes half-closed and in a meditative pose. Now, this guy bent down, picked up a leaf from the pavement and handed it over to me. I gave a questioning glance but couldn't interrupt as a strange hum seemed to be emanating from within him.

A volunteer wearing a turban walked up to Mr.BB. I could not see the sketch on this guy's robe but I heard him proclaim rather loudly, "Ab jaldi hee meri shaadi hai. Meri dulhan azaadi hai!". Mr.BB gave the usual nod signifying he didn't hear a word of it, and the volunteer gaily moved on assuming quite the opposite.

Coffee Annan, the man who didn't recall his own origin, stood in his balcony, eager to know the origin of these guys. "Ahoy! where are you from? what is all this?". They answered him in unison, "We are dew of the morning rays, We come from the valleys, We are smoke that rises from the tormented back-alleys". With this, they created a formation and started walking down the street. As they got to the corner, the coffee shop boys greeted them and they filed into the cafe one-by-one.

A voice summoned me from behind, "Beta! looks like the milkman is late today. I need some milk to make coffee. Can you buy some milk from the cafe please?". I stood there wondering if the cafe would have anything left today..
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