"And then, Veera fell." Said the old man in the orange robes, a fire sparking in his old grey eyes.
"Was it the end for Veera?" Enquired the boy.
The man smiled and leaned against the banyan tree. "A true warrior never really falls."
The boy waited for a few moments; there was silence. It seemed to be the end of the story.
He rose and walked towards the interior of the village.
A group of women with watering cans walked by. Stealing glances at the boy.
"See, the boy went there again."
"Why doesn't anyone stop him?"
"Is the Baaghi that dangerous?"
"I heard that he does black magic."
"Someone should tell the Sarpanchji."
The boy, lost in thought, walked with a certain listlessness. He pointlessly ran his fingers
through the tall blades of grass as the roads narrowed between the fields that led to his hut.
It was a forgettable place, the hut. Jaya and Maya, the two cows lounged lazily near its entrance with their eyes shut but jaws moving at a languid pace that befitted the idyllic village.
He entered the hut and dropped his body on the rope bed that rocked under his weight. The only luxury that he had after grandma's death was access to the rope bed. The bed had supported her through most of her old age and faithfully served her until the night she died in her sleep. Her funeral was a rather silent one. The attendees were few and the mourning was short lived. The cremation was quick. The boy wondered if his parents had a similar funeral.
He lay there for hours, staring at the thatched roof of the hut. Time passed slowly. He waited for sunlight to stop flooding his room and for darkness to surround him. He felt safe in the idea of darkness, where everything was concealed and no one could see you. Your face, your flaws or your mistakes. Darkness was comforting, he thought. He shut his eyes to silence the light.
"Clang! Clang! Clang!" came the loud sound of a cheap metal pot falling to the floor and rattling to a slow stop. The boy awoke, his heart palpitating; sweat covered his forehead. The sun had departed, the room was pitch dark.