Beyond my window

The man from the next building has been silent all day.
Guess he may be busy at work.
How else can I not hear him
talking over the phone?

His voice has been a constant
for the last eight days of this lockdown,
when I stand in the kitchen
brewing tea
or doing the dishes.

It wafts in,
and lingers in the air,
as if he wants me to be a part of his conversation.

Sometimes his monologue announces itself
like a podcast I have been tuned in to
only because I happen to be within listening radius
of his GPS location.

Maybe it was always this way.
Maybe I did not notice it thus far
because the combined noise of the neighbourhood on other days
drowned down his voice.

Yesterday it jolted me out
even as I sat on the pot,
funny how a lockdown still managed
to breach the last refuge of my privacy.

But today he has been silent,
not even a tiny loud ‘Hello’.
The view from my window looks lifeless.
A yellow lampshade stands in the room on the other side,
a cluster of wires dangles in the space between us,
and the air sounds stiller
than it has been in the last two weeks.

Did he run out of talktime
or of things to talk about?

Day 9 of the 21-day lockdown​ in India​

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