I stood there staring at the sky aimlessly as they buried my wife's body. My mind was empty. I wanted to cry but I couldn't.
I told myself "Come on you stupid stupid man, cry, please, it will help you deal with it." but my body wasn't listening. People were talking to me and I couldn't hear a word they were saying.
As time passed by, the group of friends and relatives that had gathered for the funeral grew smaller and smaller until there was no one there except me.
"Go home, it's getting late now." said the keeper of the graveyard.
I did not move.
" Go home son. She won't come back even if you spend the rest of your life standing here."
He was right.
"Sorry, I think I should go now." and I left the graveyard without making any eye contact with the graveyard keeper.
My body was walking on the sidewalk but my mind was somewhere else entirely. I was spacing out. While I was walking in this state of trance, the sidewalk ended and now I was walking on the road.
I was brought back to my senses when a bicycle crashed into me. I was laying on the ground with the bicycle next to me. When I looked up, I was greeted by the face of a young boy.
I stood up immediately and saw that the boy had scratches all over this knees and arms. " Are you okay? " I asked him.
" I'm fine but it wasn't my mistake uncle. It was you who crashed into me. You were walking like a zombie. I even rang the little bell on my bike."
"I'm sorry. It was my mistake."
The boy's face curled into a large smile.
"Are you hurt? " I asked looking at his scraped knee.
"A little. Are you hurt uncle? "
I shook my head.
"Uncle you shouldn't walk like that on the road. My mother has always instructed me to check both sides of the road while crossing it."
"I know how to cross a road!" I shouted.
"Then why did you crash into my bicycle?"
"It's just that.... Never mind."
I went near his bike and picked it up for him. He sat on it and rode away.
Now I was alone once again. I started to walk. The roads were empty. The moon was shining brilliantly. I was continuously making efforts to stop myself from spacing out again.
As I was walking, I came across an alleyway wherein some three-four guys were sitting and playing cards. They were playing and drinking and chatting. I quietly went near them and sat down.
They were talking but it wasn't very comprehensible. They were drunk! I was able to understand bits and pieces of their conversation.
They were talking about some weird taxi that people board which takes the passengers where they need to go rather than the place they want to go.
They said that this taxi has been roaming the streets of Mumbai since a long time. One of them even mentioned a number plate MH-01 JH0098.
Their conversation was becoming more and more difficult to understand. Out of nowhere it started drizzling. I had to get up from that spot. As I got up, I saw a cab standing next to me.
It materialized out of thin air! It was raining so I had no choice but to sit in the mysterious cab. The driver started the taxi and started driving. I told him the address of my house.
My head was feeling heavy. I had a sudden urge to sleep. I wasn't planning to sleep but my eyelids closed on their own.
I was woken up by a man. He looked familiar. I was sleeping on the side of the road next to the graveyard and that man who woke me up was the keeper.
My first instinct was that I had been robbed and dumped at the side of the road. I checked my wallet. All my valuables were there. I was perplexed.
I narrated this whole experience to the graveyard keeper. He smiled.
"Son last night you travelled in the mystery cab! The one with the number plate MH-01 JH0098."
"Honestly I do not remember the cab's number plate but it did come out of nowhere which was weird." I replied.
"I think you should visit her grave and mourn her death properly. It would not bring her back but it would help you to come on terms with it." said the old man.
I was hesitant.
"What will I do there?" I asked.
"Cry? " replied the old man as he shrugged his shoulders.
I didn't think it was a good idea but I went to her grave anyway. I felt my gut clench. I knew she was dead but seeing her grave made my heart sink and I cried.