A clatter of suitcases loaded with dreams and brimming with uncertainty passes his ears night and day. Sometimes someone offers a cup of tea. Other times he offers explanations to his own soul. Fasting days are better for him: being hungry becomes religion then. He wonders whether staying hungry ever does.
He often falls asleep during the rush hour, missing the best chances of earning a penny. He can’t help it. His body is getting weaker. Too weak to stretch out his hand and ask for gold. But a loud step placed here and there carelessly breaks his slumber and he raises his deeply wrinkled hand out of habit. He begs.
He gets up from his place sometimes – when the place becomes too crowded with others of his kind and the last possibility of a ten rupee note seems to tease and flutter away like a beautiful bird. He thinks of his ambition then- his ambition to go and be able to do all of this at another place- a place where people fly. They tell him rich people come there. There the staircases move on their own. Wonder! He would start asking at one place and count at another without moving once. That place would be better.
He reaches another platform. He didn’t intend to come here. He sits there anyway. He lights a ‘bidi’ a kind passenger gave for lack of change. He does not like the taste of it. But after all these years of living on piles of peels, plastic and tainted parmesan- smelling food from all of these, anything that touches the lips is welcome. He begins to like it. He feels his lips parting as if to say something, but instead, he hears a sound which scratches his lungs. He is coughing. He takes another dab, another crash inside. Choked, stifled, whatever, it isn’t significant. He dies. Death hails peacefully. It comes easier than life.