Old John is an active environmentalist. The management of the old age home he lives in, are pulling a tree down to make way for the supply vans to move , and John is up-in-arms against the decision. The tree is an old friend to many inmates, and they’ve shared their joys and sorrows.  The tree looked happy during the last spring celebration, when the inmates had put up a small musical performance under it, and John wants to see that again.

He awaits a response from his son, Hank. Hank is a senior government official, and can pull strings to get support from the Ministry of Environment. Three days have passed, but there is no response. In the depth of his heart, John knows the reason. His son fears that his father may want to visit them, and his family is not very supportive. He wants to reassure Hank – it is only about the old tree. But he stops short of sending another message, as it may seem too presumptuous. His son has never spoken of any ill will or reluctance.

John knows he is losing the battle, as he sees labourers wielding axes enter the compound. His chest pain has intensified, and he does not feel strong enough to visit the spot. Breathing is also laboured. A lifetime of smoking is taking its toll. He wished he had paid heed to his health sooner – at least for the sake of his cause.

The doctor pulls the white sheet over his face, and mumbles a few customary words – Rest in peace. Old John is no more.

Outside, the tree has been pulled down, and the birds lament over its dead body. John is not so lucky. There is nobody to grieve his exit. The birds he sheltered have flown away long back.

A few people are moving swiftly to complete the formalities, before sunset. For two twin souls, the sun will never rise again.

9 thoughts on “Sunset

    1. Maybe parallels exist. Maybe we superimpose those.

      An alarm clock in the house had stopped functioning the day my Dad passed away. Mom refused to get it fixed saying its life span had ended, and there was no point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really wonder about those kind of things also. I went to the library about a month ago, where our dream group was reconvening just for that session, but I was also going to pick up “The Library Book” I just reviewed. I sat down at the table and as the group talked the librarian walked over and laid the book down on the table. The leader of the dream group had borrowed it and somehow when it was at her house (she’s not careless) it got some water damage and so she had to buy another copy for the library and the librarian was giving her the damaged book back. I told her I was coming to check that book out and she handed it to me and said here take it with you, I don’t have time to read it right now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Somebody here has started an initiative called “Books on the Delhi Metro”. Books are left at conspicuous places with a note. People are supposed to read and put those back at the same place. It is meant to inculcate reading habits.

          People are being asked to donate books ‘they do not have time to read’.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That sounds so wonderful! Reading books is vitally important for the health of a society. Around here we have “Little Free Libraries” that people or businesses build, about the size of two mailboxes, on a post, where you fill it with books, and people can take and leave books as they will. I know of 3 of them in a 10 mile radius where I’m at and have used all 3 on bike rides. I bring books in the basket on my bike and bring books home.

            Liked by 1 person

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