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On a rainy day, I was waiting for my usual bus, when I saw him. He was sitting huddled on a bench in the darkest corner of the shed, listlessly staring at the rain. Perhaps he felt my eyes on him because just then he turned his head to look at me. I staggered back involuntarily at the look of sheer hopelessness in those huge eyes.

When I look back, I have no reason to say why exactly I tried to strike up a conversation with him or why he even confided his woes to me. He was hungry. I took him to the chai shop next door and bought him some buns. He attacked them voraciously.  My heart went out to him. Poor baby. Who had abandoned him? How would he survive alone in this big bad city?

In the spur of the moment I made a decision and hailed a passing auto. The auto-rickshaw drivers charge the heaven and earth when it is raining and I am but a poor coconut tree climber with meagre earnings.  But today I was willing to shell out some extra money. Turning to him, I found him staring at me with those huge eyes. You are coming with me, I told him decisively. He seemed to hesitate, but climbed in before me when coaxed. He was actually shivering, with fear or cold, I was not sure which. I put a hand around him protectively and pulled him close. After a while he seemed to relax and fell asleep head on my lap.

I am a widower and own a small patch of land with a house on it, beyond the city limits. Not a big house, one with two rooms, a tiled roof and mud floor and walls, a house that I built with my own hands. Savitri was alive then and had worked equally hard by my side. But she had died in childbirth the following year and ever since I have been living a lonely life, meaningless as it were. I commute to the city daily by bus, looking for work. As a coconut tree climber I am in demand, but don’t earn that very much from my work, not that I need much to live on, being alone.

When the auto-rickshaw stopped, he was undecided and I had to again coax him to get out into the rain from its cozy confines. The driver watched my machinations with amusement and asked why I even bothered; those like him had simply to be left to die or kicked to death. The driver had ripped me for double the fare for the journey and on top of that was being offensive. I glared at him angrily and told him to mind his own business. He sneered at me as he started his engine, and quickly sped off.

When I opened the door to the house and turned back, he was still standing in the rain looking at me. Come here, I told him and he walked over ever so slowly and doubtfully, glancing around at the strange surroundings, and then looking at me with those huge eyes. They were really pretty ones, I decided. My heart was, strangely enough, singing. There was someone other than me in my home, after so very long. I felt elation for apparently no reason. Come on, come in, I called him from inside the house. This is your home now. He put first one foot in and then the other, then the third, and finally the fourth. After that he wagged his tail profusely, as if to say, I get it now, you have adopted me! Thank you.

The prompt: On a Rainy day…! Write a post starting with this line.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda