Now every lamp-post in her street is lighted. So much light, but no darkness.


It is five in the evening, the sun will set soon.

And she, she has to go back to her house. Back to her room. Her cell.

She is not, what one will call a beauty. Society will mark her as obese, brown skinned and with thick lips. No one, she thinks will desire her. But why not, she desires her own self? The question often comes to her mind. She contemplates it. She dismiss it.

A man, of medium stature, came on a cycle, brought out a stick and clicked on the switch. It turned the street light on. He, the man, comes daily around this time, in the evening. And he always come on his cycle, always with that long, rusty stick. She does not know what his name is, where he lives. She does not want to know any of this. All she wants to know is that how he got this job, of switching the lamp-posts on? What does this job called? And how does this job makes him feel? She contemplates.

The man leaves on the cycle.

Now every lamp-post in her street is lighted. So much light, but no darkness.

The kids are returning to their houses, after having a good match of cricket. She knows this group of children. They play in her ‘gully’, every evening. They always create so much noise; cacophony, so much laughter with their voices, lighten up, all of them. After that they go back, all of them, to their own rooms, but, she reckons, not cells. There is no silence, no piece. No darkness.

She knocks on the main door. Her mother opens it. She goes inside her room. Her cell. The light is switched on. She wants to believe it hurts her eyes, but it doesn’t. Why it doesn’t hurt? Why is there no darkness?

It is seven on the clock now. She is doing her homework. Her mother comes inside her room. Her cell.

‘Ruma, will you go and get some rice from the shop?’

The shop is just three lanes away. Local people, are always there, hanging out. All men, middle-aged. One can hear their talk and laughter, from a distance. The shop-keeper is good friends with them all. Her father comes here often as well, to have a chat and drink tea. Just beside the shop, there is a tea-stall. Men came here every evening. All talking, mostly smiling. All full of lights. Yes, it is surrounded by lights everywhere. Bulbs and tubes. No darkness.

She asked the shopkeeper for rice. She waited. She received the packet and started walking away. She did not talk to anyone. But their talk did not leave her, it still reached her ears. And the lights did not leave her, she still could see them. No darkness.

She came under one particular lamp-post, which the medium statured man always light up first. She contemplates why does he always lights it first? Why does it need to be lit? Why no darkness?

As she was stepping away from the lamp-post, each and everywhere became blank. There has been a power-cut. Still there is something wrong. She couldn’t find peace.

She looks up. Her mouth became slowly wide. The lamp-post was somehow still on. There was still light.

No darkness.

She came back to her house. It was lighted all over by candles.

No darkness.

She handed the packet back to her mother. She grabbed a long stick from under her bed, in her room. Her cell. It used to be a rod for hanging curtains. Now it is rusty,and full of cobwebs.

But it will do. Yes, it will do.

She went back, to the still lighted lamp-post. She saw the switch, put the stick up, switched it off.

She whispered: “Darkness”.