The first blushes of the evening when the sun kisses the sky a red goodbye, the clamorous sounds of bells of the local temple, wedges of crows heading for the trees represent 6 ‘o’ clock to me. The time to go home. Bruises brushed aside without a second thought while engaged in that serious activity of childhood, the all important game of hide and seek now start hurting but it doesn’t matter much, for I’ll be home soon. Already I can glimpse a few paavaadai clad little girls coming out carefully cupping their hands around the quiet flame of their lamps, frowning in concentration whilst willing the wind to behave himself a little better. My playmates, who a minute ago were behind bushes and inside cycle sheds have suddenly vanished, no doubt succumbing to that beckoning magic evening call of home. But I am not yet ready to abandon my hiding place which camouflages me so well. So cramped that my legs are comfortably numb, I smile from my secret spot to see the sun sink. The allure of dusk is enchanting, overpowering any other thought. Tonight I will be late, home will wait for me, a little while longer.

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