|He sat in the rocking chair in the solitude of his room. It was dusk and he was looking at the wall clock, ticking his life away. He was never a loner, never had been one. But he wanted to be alone that day. His friend Ajeenkya had once told him that there was always a beauty in being alone. Eccentric Ajeenkya. Bharat wanted a taste fo the experience. It was one of the few things he had not tried out in the twenty-four years of his existence. Twenty-five after a few hours. This was the first time he had spent a whole day alone. He was loving it too. His thoughts had wandered everywhere. He had re-lived a lifetime in those few hours. But the wall clock had been bothering him all along. He saw it as ticking his life away; and that made him depressed. There were so many things in this world to live for, his parents, his friends, his love, himself...|
Bharat reached for his packet of cigarettes and flicked it open. Two more left. He would save one for midnight- his birthday treat. Lighting the other cigarette, he leaned back in to the chair. He closed his eyes. In his mind's eye, he could see music playing. Now he remembered. He had not listened to any music the whole day long. He had not felt the need. He must earnestly be falling in love with solitude. He stood up. The time was near, he wanted to have a shave. He looked at the cigarette in the ash-tray- it had burned out and he had not had one single puff.
It was five minutes to midnight by the time he had shaved. He went back to the chair and to his sojourn with himself. He sat there staring at the clock, cigarette in one hand and the lighter in the other. The moment the clock sturck twelve, he lit up and inhaled deeply. One more year nearer to the end, he thought. His cell rang- it was Ajeenkya.
"Hey Bharat, wish you a very happy birthday, buddy", he said in his haunting voice. "Where do we go tommorow?"
"Thanks", he said, "but I don't wanna go anywhere. I just wanna be alone".
He heard Ajeenkya's hollow, mirthless laughter before he hung up and smashed the handset on the floor. The clock kept on ticking.