Look, what a mess.

Inside this little head of mine, there’s been a lot going on lately. I’ve spent a couple of days trying hard not to fall into one of those masochistic spirals, the kind I thought were behind me now, along with the other maladies of youth. Turns out I’m still on the edge.

One side effect of such phases is the added burden that my already suffering lungs have to endure. The other is insomnia. Last night, I spent a few hours trying to negotiate peace between my graceless body and my unyielding bed. But there was a mosquito in the room. And it was no ordinary mosquito. It had evolved to be invisible to human eyes, and had developed a deafeningly high-pitched buzz that made the dogs outside howl in agony.

Enraged, I found myself sitting on the terrace, smoking.

I live in one of the better areas of this city, which means there are wide roads, grassy parks and bright yellow street-lights all around. It still has a load of rubbish everywhere, of course. I remember such sleepless nights spent on the terrace, watching street sweepers appear at the break of dawn, waking up the birds with the sound of their brooms. They’re gone now. In their place are the harbingers of a ‘world-class’ city: two trucks that trundle around at night trying to vacuum the streets.

I watched the first one crawl by, its flashing yellow lights reflecting on every closed window. It had rotating brushes on the front and sides, which gathered the dirt and trash and led it to a suction pipe attached to its rear end. In theory. In the real, dark, hazy world, they just created an awful mess, leaving bits of garbage in the middle of the road. On its side, it claimed (with what seemed a proud upgrade from “On MCD duty”) DWM. Delhi Waste Management.

I suppose the cleaners do come later. After all, somebody has to clean up the mess left by the management.

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