Damini woke up at the hospital. She and Golu, her son, were all right. Luckily they had escaped any major injuries but Mr. Mishra couldn’t be found. Many suspected that the never-ending chasm had engulfed him. However, Ganesh was found after two days. He was heavily injured, his sulky scarred face was hard to identify, and his chin had been broken while teeth were badly shaped, his forehead was bruised and he was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital with the help of local people that found him lying on the side of a river.
Since then Ganesh had never shown his face to anyone. He preferred to keep it under cover through a muffler, cap and sometimes with a mask. Damini and Golu’s behavior had changed as they seemed to talk less and gaze more as everything had ceased in those hopeless eyes…!
“…Such is the fate of the Mishra family.” Said I to Moti, as I patted his back while we both sat beside the fire absorbing the heat for our poor souls in the dreadful month of December. For an old person like me, winter is hard to pass by and as for Moti, any month is hard as long as humans and rocks exist in the world. But in December Moti had to endure bone-chilling winter along with humans and rocks, without any clothes as Moti was a dog.
I don’t know how much Moti understood me and I don’t know if I ever understood him but for sure he was a good companion. He always listened what I had to say – not that he had any other option – he was always there in the night, during my duty time to provide me company while I sat in that poor man`s imaginary bunker, feeling no less than the watchman on the border-line but under-appreciated and way too underpaid. Actually, I hated my job especially in winter because of the cold that can melt my old bones. It was not only winter I hated but I also hated that ever longing loneliness staring in my eyes through the fire that drenched me. It was hard to be Watchman of that motionless society where nothing moved and nothing had ever happened. But if something was to happen then I doubt whether I would be the suitable person that you would look up to. It was harder to keep the fire burning to keep myself and Moti warm but the hardest thing, I suppose, was to be Moti and listen to all my illogical, weird, bullshit tales all night long.
“Ah! This dreadful December,” I groaned as I lighted my cigarette, inhaled and breathed out and looked at the fire.
“Is it warm enough Moti?” I said and looked at Moti. Moti was black in color with long legs and broad chest. He was much bigger for a street dog but too naïve to be one. He was old like me but strong. He had jaws bigger than any other dog in that society and much more fierce teeth that could tear a bear but his eyes did no justice to his stature as they were kind and innocent and with those innocent eyes, he looked at me.