The sun had completed its journey for the day and was retiring as I proceeded with eager anticipation to meet the old timers who had been my companions during the best years of my life. A bus ride with happy, smiling people enjoying the warmth inside the vehicle during this winter evening was a pleasant beginning for me. As I alighted from the big six wheeler I walked briskly towards my destination.
Something attracted my attention. An old man sitting at one side of the sidewalk was selling peanuts. He was roasting some and the aroma reached the inner depths of my olfactory nerves. I was drawn to the source.
"Can I have some peanuts? Please give me peanuts worth Rupees Ten. And add some chopped onions and green chillies and some salt and masala too."
The old man nodded his head in acknowledgement of the fact that he had heard me. He roasted the peanuts for another minute and then proceeded to prepare my order.
Paradise may have different definitions. But the roasted peanuts presented to me the opportunity to experience a version of it now. I walked on as I let the flavours of the nuts and the onions and chillies make me smile as they blended together in my mouth.
I reached Wazir's office to find him and Rajiv waiting. Soon followed other friends - Vik, Afsar and Tanweer. We talked about science, medicine, miracle treatments, placebo effect, psychology, family, holidays, and a lot of things that cannot be categorized as well as a lot of things that I cannot write about.
These are people who I grew up with. Each is a different personality. We do not always agree with each other. We have our arguments and our fun moments. But we are inseparable as friends.
It wasn't so much about the dinner or the topics of discussion as it was about feeling happy and secure in each others' presence. There is something that binds us together which words would not be enough to explain or describe.
The evening had passed and the night was taking over. The winter cold was smiling with me as I walked towards my home. "Tomorrow the sun will rise again," I said to myself.