By – Manoj Sri Harsha
It was 3 AM, and I was wandering aimlessly on the street, wondering how similar I’m to a cat. Quietly I move, like a feather falling on roads, making an inaudible sound. How weird it is that I see a few of the people through their open windows while they are sleeping. I always take my time to observe the objects as much I can see. Sometimes I see people awake, which is rare for the time I roam. They listen to music; they dance, argue, fight, and few kiss. They don’t even know I exist. But I’m there; watching them through shadows, invading their moments of solace. How weird it is to think that we are alone while we miss the motionless people standing in the dark right behind us. I was wondering if they ever will realise that they are not having a private moment but a devil-like ‘me’ watching them. Or am I being ignorant too? Watching them through shadows, passing through alleys, am I missing the shadow of my own? Do I have a motionless stalker too? I laughed at the thought of someone following a follower, hiding in shadows of the shadowy figure.
“But what if?” my mind yelled and the feeling was unshakable. Something urged me to turn around and see through the darkness, and I’m now continuously thinking about it. After the massive battle among my thoughts, the one that urged me to turn around had won. I turned around and was startled. My eyes wide open, and my jaw dropped. A cold breeze stuck through my bones as I saw him right in his droopy eyes. He was as shocked as I’m. Standing right behind me, hiding in my very own shadow, he was following me all the way. The look in his face tells me that he had known me for very long. I gulped and turned back, pretending that I had not seen him. But I’m sure that he kept following me; I know that!
I’m home now, two days had passed, but the thought that he’s standing right behind me has not worn off yet. I know he’s there, while I eat, bath, write and do anything, he’s right there. I can smell his reek, feel his stare, and sometimes I even sense his touch. With fear, I lived since. But I know that I have to make peace with him or I’d die with this fear too. But to do that, I had to understand him first. Who is he? Is he my fears? Is he my guardian angel? Or is there something like a ‘guardian demon’? He surely smells, looks and feels like a demon to me. Nothing of an angel would give me these chills and sleepless nights.
Soon the day of judgement had arrived. I never understand why humans compete with each other for almost everything. I never know why I always fail in these competitions, either. Out of the million possible outcomes, I always end up with the failure. Even when I reach the gates of success, it’s like something drags me down. Even today, I have failed yet in another one of the human competitions of having things. I have been unable to organise the life of an average human, continuously falling. Wait! Now I know who that is! I turned back yet again to find the dark demon standing at one of the corners. I looked him right in the eye, and it didn’t scare me this time for I know its identity. It is the demon of unfortunate! It has found its companion in me. It’s making sure that I always fall into unfortunate outcomes of life for it not to feel alone. It wants my recognition; It wants my friendship. It controls all the unfortunate possibilities in the chaos. I’m the result of its deeds. I’m his success! By failing me, he had found success. I’m his prodigal outcome! By failing each time, I had succeeded this devil! I’m not a biological waste, after all! It follows me to make me fail yet again for I’m special! This feeling of being unique no matter if it is of a devil, makes me smile. “I’m walking with the devil,” I thought; “Making him proud.”