It was evening. The sky was moody, a dark bluish black. It was almost spring, but not quite. An old man walked, with a wooden stick bent like it was affected with bow-leg. The man had a straight, almost majestic gait, as he walked up a winding road. No hurry, no lethargy - just the right pace. As he ambled along, he wore a greyed cashmere shawl around his shoulder to protect him from the remanants of a chilly winter gone by.

This was the part he liked best. The winding road descended rapidly, and one false step could mean tumbling down a hundred feet. But our man, almost oblivious to the impending fall, walked on autopilot. It was almost as if he was in another place, another time, and his body just did its job. Automatically - without thinking, without feeling.

An old, worn out cycle tire,hidden by some dried leaves, a few bottles of plastic, crushed by the few automobiles that dared to traverse this stretch provided a stark contrast to the otherwise uniform conifers. Nestled in the Eastern Ghats, this small little sleepy town was one of India's best kept secrets.Our man walked along, hoping to reach home before dusk, when another world - a world of mythical ghosts and oft-heard wild animals came to life. It is only fair, he thought, that there should be a time of the day when humans retreated, and let the "other world" take over.

(the next part will be continued here)
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