“…How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand.”
She was lying down on the rug in her room under the yellow light, listening to a Bob Dylan song on a loop. She sipped hot water from her mug as she juggled between thoughts. Today she just wanted to be unperturbed by everything. She had no rush to check how many likes she got on her Instagram post that she put up at the office earlier. She didn’t care if anyone would ring her doorbell. She would just let it pass. She was even undisturbed by the thought of preparing dinner as her parents had traveled to a different city for a religious trip.
All she needed was a pause. She was all by herself after ages. Usually, work occupied her even after she was home late, but today she didn’t have any. She looked at the spaces of her room carefully, as if she was gazing around for the very first time. As she lay there looking around, she felt the most peaceful ever. There were times she looked for reasons to stay out of her house until late. She just hated coming back home early. It wasn’t because she had a strained relationship with her parents. She just loved exploring places. On the days she was back home from work early, she thought she didn’t have a life.
She was suddenly thinking about how she never took time to wind down in the past few years. Something or the other always kept her busy, whether it was work, plans with her friends afterward, attending her family gatherings, or traveling to places she loved. There was so much she did every day. It was surprising to herself how she lay so quietly without checking her phone, replying to her emails, calling her friends, or binging on Netflix shows that she forgot about in just a matter of a few days.
Her eyes now fell on the photograph hanging on the wall behind her bed. It was a childhood picture of hers. She was a few months old, asleep in her mother’s lap, gently smiling. She gazed at it for a long while. ‘I’m home,’ she thought. She closed her eyes, finally paying attention to Dylan’s song. She now had a smile on her face—a peaceful one—just like she had in the photograph.