He stepped out hurriedly into the outside world, trying to step faster but the city cold air impeded his aging knees inflicting with great pain. Pushing the bamboo cane mercilessly on the jagged road, he paced toward the end of the street. He coughed harder, lungs aching with each fit. This is what eats of half of his time in the morning. The coolness of early morning as freshening in the village as it is harsh in this city. He missed those days in village. He missed them more as he had no way back to there. He had to come with his only son and stay with them. Literally it was worse than any other phase of his life.
He pulled his wife’s sweater tighter around himself, pushing his gnarled hands deeper into the pocket only to having the middle finger slip through the hole in left pocket. He reminded himself to be careful with his wife’s last piece of tangible memory.
It took him bit longer to reach at the temple. By the time he reached people were starting to gather up. It was Thursday which means there will be more visitors today than any other days. He bent down to touch the temple entrance as usual to worship and entered praying Goddess.
Suddenly the temple priest came to him. “Where were you till now? Again late.” He hollered holding the arati thali.
“Not his fault. I have been getting late these days. ” He thought silently getting to his place near footwear stand.
“You know it right? New temple management committee is really strict. If you continue to do like this you will this job also.” The priest continued.
He looked at him through his wrinkle clouded eyes. It was harder to see his face properly even from that distance. He needed a reading glass, he knew it well but he kept delaying it thinking in next more salary he will get it. Now if he loses this job also, where will he get his food from? He doesn’t have any emotive strength to tolerate the accusal glances from his son or daughter-in-law and he has no other place to go after selling his home in village.
“I will come earlier.” He softly answered him.
“Okay. Okay.” The priest left him to work.