They talked about the weather; a middle aged man and a boy. The middle aged man was worried that the rain was lacking this year that this summer would be harsher than the previous one, and that the reasons are many, from globalization to deforestation. But all the while the boy was looking into something that didn’t exist for any one else there: a void—that the boy only felt in front of his eyes. He was fifteen. His eyes were that of some one with some one else to dream of; he loved a girl from the same school in which he too studied. ‘I used to spend all my spare time dreaming of her’—the boy thought—‘and now here I am wasting my time with this man.’ What useless things is he talking about? The boy couldn’t understand. For him the only truth perched in the two gleaming eyes of the beauty he admired, dreamed of, tried and failed to understand, his distant fantasy. But he could not talk to her yet.
It was three months from now that he first saw her, away, standing in the doorstep of the class room in which she studied. Though he did not know what it means to take decisions, he dared at that time to take some. It was a magical time, because he felt powerful enough to take decisions and dream consciously of possibilities that until that moment were utterly nonsensical for him, or at least as he was forced to believe.
‘Freedom, here, is miraculously abundant and unbelievably absent’—he thought. Freedom existed between the two extremes, abundance and absence. It existed between him and his girl and not with them together. He could never talk to her because of fear, which was supplied by the lack of freedom to make a breach in the accepted codes of behaviour for him in the school. And for him freedom was the absence of fear too. He wanted to take himself to her. So he decided upon a day to confess his true feelings for her. And that was the day. But there he was, in front of the man, the stranger who wanted to know about his father’s office time. His father was the Principal of the School.
The boy could see the girl in front of him, a few metres away standing in the bus stop. And it was then he noticed one more thing: the bus, which she usually takes home, was approaching the stop. He could see it from a turn in the road behind the green foliage. He wondered about his own gut feeling to think of murdering this guy who was blocking him now from attaining him stream of salvation, the girl. The boy looked at the man in his eyes. Now the man was talking about his own childhood days and recollected the Nature during those days.
Suddenly the boy’s heart took a leap, and came to him mouth as he saw the girl taking a brisk walk in his direction. He felt himself in a total loss for words and thoughts. But then there came another shock, of the kind he never expected or dreamed even in the freakiest of nightmares: the girl called the man “Father!”
She came nearer and told the man in a loud voice, “Father, the bus is coming. Come fast.” The boy spent the next moment in thanking God, for if he had made a single move towards the girl, the man would have spotted the oddness and handed over his daughter’s minor admirer to the Principal, the kind of things that every one here would do with boys and girls who talk about love. The same thing he was afraid of: being the culprit of falling in love was about to happen had he not been under the influence of his fear, his lack of freedom. The boy felt as if he understood a great lesson.