Calendar flutters, the disc slowly starts swirling on the gramophone with a creek….”Abhi na jao chod kar….chod kar….krrrr.” The odour of dust and wood wafting through the air,” Ke dil abhi….bharaaaaaaa.” Floor covered with dry leaves, debris and unread papers. Bits of papers. The corners of the wall covered in webs. The three storey building filled with darkness. Windows radiating gloom. Two clocks stuck at different time, 12 p.m; 3 a.m. Rusted briefcases on the book shelves amidst broken paintings and whiskey bottles. “Nahi…nahi…nahii…” Broken ceiling, through which rays flashes on Dhatho’s gritted teeth. He sits with his legs in a lotus position and his eyes wide, looking at the giant portrait of his lady.

It was covered with mud and fungi, revealing only the face in the light of the candle, lit in front of it. Her smile lifts her cheek bones, reducing the age in her skin. The red bindhi rests perfectly in between her eyebrows, and her hair neatly parted and stuck up.

Dhatho looks into the serene eyes of his lady in the portrait and let himself whizz, “Abhi na jao chodkar ke…” A voice, mystically sweet coming from behind the portrait, elevating the warmth of Dhatho’s face, humms with the same spirit, “Ke dil abhi bhaaraaa nahii..” Dhatho stands up hurriedly and stumbls towards the portrait and gazes with restless bewilder. His eyes dreary now, touching the portrait with trembling hands, he continues “Abhi abhi tho aayi ho, bahaar ban ke chaayi ho….” The mystic voice turning desperate. “Yeh shaam dhal to le zara, yeh dil sambhal to le zara….” the voice disappears, not smoothly but abruptly. The gramophone creeks with a blare, “Adhoori aas chod ke, Adhoori pyaas chod ke…..”

Dhatho moves around, smiling with his gaze fixed on the potrait. He laughs slowly, loudly now, and with a frivolous chuckle he continues again, “Abhi na jao chod kar….ke dil…hahahha…ke dil abhi bhaaraaa nahiii…


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