It was during these Covid times I wandered, worry writ on my face as bills piled up at home, and money not what it used to be, when I imagined I heard a voice ringing out to me, “Hi!”

 “Hi!” I offered back in return as a stranger with a beard longer than mine, and much whiter, looked at me with kindly eyes as he sat on a bench in the park and beckoned me to sit beside him, “What do you do with your old toothbrushes?” he asked.

And as I heard about the building collapse in Mumbai, with sixteen dead and counting, and other concrete structures crumbling during the rains, I hear knowing voices asking, “Why do they stay in such buildings after being told it’s unsafe?” And my pen moves, sadly…

And as I heard of state governments all over the country, calling migrant workers back, industrialists paying advances and promising them big bucks, builders even flying them back, I wondered whether the migrant worker had now got his rightful place in the sun, and imagined I was visiting them in their village. “Here’s your plane ticket!” I said as I along with my builder friend, showed him tickets for his family to return, “And we’ve also seen your little son gets a window seat to see the sky!”

The busy architect picked up his ringing phone, ““Yes Father?” he asked, “What can I do for you?”

“I am in a fix,” said the worried voice of the priest.

Grandma, lying in her comfortable bed heard her door opening, “Hello grandma!” said her teenage granddaughter as she swept into the room.

“Hello my dear girl!” said grandma, “How nice of you to see me today! I missed you yesterday!”

“Oh grandma, I had such fun yesterday!”