The twenty-fourth hour


It was quarter to twelve.

As the elder needle struck nine on the mantle, here struck an idea of a brisk walk.

Twelve steps towards the moon and twelve away, and so I started walking. Everything was at peace with the surroundings and a silent quietude spread in the four directions, save the whistle of a solo breeze that blew past me. With ear drums vibrating on the radio beats and feet following an orbit, eyes wandered from one end to the other past the terrace, gazing the million stars. Obviously not counting them for I was a no kid. I came across a big star. Not sun! The one whom they call the ‘pole star’, which was supposed to be beside the moon as the science books had ever told me. The moon was a crescent, a usual night it was, but only the pole star seemed not to be at rest. It was in a direction somewhat opposite to the moon and somewhat opposite to my learned theories. The few seconds it took and I discovered the real truth behind the theory; pole star does not always stay beside the moon as I had always thought it to be rather moves with a speed not so same as that of the moon. If I say I’m experienced or I’m a no kid, I know I’m lying for still there are secrets that hide in the twenty-fourth hour of the wheel, yet to be discovered. It had been now fifteen minutes that my mind was lost in some so and so theories. The next thing that the sparrow sitting in the nest on an old rack lying in a corner saw was, me sitting down upon the floor scribbling something in the deep darkness, save the silver touch of Aluminum crystal that the moon flaunted over. ‘The twenty-fourth hour’ was what, that was being thought of. My eyes were wide open, still all I could see was the dense shades of black and gray. Neither an ‘A’ was visible nor a ‘full stop’. Once again that unusual hour gave me a close encounter with the plight of blind eyes, for as the tip inked the paper, intellect impressed upon the mind. I lived the life of a blind person for those few seconds. Another, the sparrow whom I use to observe the whole day and wonder if her husband exists, was now accompanied by her mate. A family completed with a mother, father and a new life dwelling inside the white walls. A secret discovered. Isn’t it? I don’t know why, but this hour fascinates me the most for I wander unfolding the secrets when everyone else is ‘busy’ folding themselves in their sweet dreams. As I shuffled through some of my incomplete theories, a thin rain patting over my feet made them follow the way down the twelve stairs. I smoothed in silently and the last thing that I came across was a yellow light burning in the nearby empty house whose walls had neither heard any voices nor seen any glimpses save few echoes for years now.

Was it a secret?

May be, of the twenty-fourth hour of the wheel!