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People With The Zest of Life
(Zinda Loag)

by

Saail Ehsan

As usual I was going to have my day loaves of bread frp, a domestic oven which was in a narrow, long street. It was hot day of June. Every body was taking rest under the fans to save themselves from-scorching heat. There was no one in the street. A complete silence was prevailing there. Small children were kept closed in the air-conditioned/fanned rooms. Even the birds were forced by the heat to take shelter in their nests.

When I reached the middle of the street, I heard the sound of a bugle. I turned back to see. It was an old man, walking with the help of a stick, which was breaking the silence of the street by its flip-flop. He was holding some colorful balloons fixed with a stick. When he reached near me, his appearance became more clear to me. He was an old man of fifty to fifty five , but seemed older than his age. In his feet, he was wearing two shoes of different color and design. There was oval-shaped spectacle, on his shabby big nose, which was fixed with a strip. He was with unshaven face and dry rough lips. Off and on he blew his bugle and saw back and forth as if someone would come and purchase all his balloons. And the interesting thing was that it happened so.

A five-year-old boy was standing in the beginning of the street and was waving his hand in a calling way. The old man despite his weakness and age moved so quick as if that boy would buy all his balloons. When the old man reached near him the boy pointed to a balloon to have that. The old man asked about money and the innocent small boy became so depressed that he was near to weep. The old man said,

Go and bring  money to buy one, Im here waiting for you. After a few moments the rough voice of boys mother was heard who was cursing the old man for disturbing the children in such a hot summer. Then, being forced by the resistance of the child she had to come with him and buy a balloon for the boy. In the mean some other children from different houses came to have one for them. Some were alone buying the balloons and some were with their parents. Then all of them began to play with the balloons in the same street. Some were weeping when their balloons burst; some were laughing and some were making a loud noise to break the killing silence of the street.

The noise of those children, the bursting of the balloon, the laughing and weeping of children mixed in such a way that all that was presenting the scene of a crowded busy bazaar. The silence of the street had totally been killed. The scene was completely changed. The old man had sold nearly all his balloons. Now he was looking as fresh as daisy. He reached near me and asked,

Is there an oven inside the house? I shook my head in affirmative. He gave a beautiful, big balloon and a two-rupee note to a boy and sent him to buy thick bread for him from that domestic oven. That boy came back with a thick loaf of bread for the old man. He immediately started eating without any other thing. I had had my loaves of bread already and was on my to home. When I reached the corner of the street, I looked back, the old man had gone from the other side of the street and the street was as silent and deserted as before.

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