I took a quick glance at my wristwatch and it was approaching 11. I had enough time to walk to the doctor and it showed in my lightly falling footsteps on the narrow New Thippasandra Road. The market had picked up its crowd and I was making my way through it to get on the next road. I was on the last junction as notified by the yellow board saying 1st cross. My eyes while falling back to my steps, met a person dressed in off-white sitting on a wheelchair right below the signboard. The oddity of his presence there held me but the clock kept me moving even though the corners of my eye were still on his silhouette. In those skipping seconds, I was reminded by a familiar feeling. The silhouette moved, I turned and noticed, he was saying something with his hands raised. I had apprehended this, this familiar feeling. I had noticed that often strangers find me approachable when enquiring for addresses. But, this looked more than a mere enquiry. I moved towards to him. He looked old, old enough to not left alone with his wheelchair. His grey hair were thinning on the front and leaving with unkempt curls. The plastic framed thick spectacle was just hanging on the hooked nose as if the weight of those bulging eyes had grown on it. His front teeth were peeping through his moustache and the cheek muscles were floating loose on the sunken age. He was dressed in grey check shirt and an old stained white dhoti. There was a crumpled notebook lying on his lap. When I was near, he said ‘ Please, need to go home. Push. That side.’ I looked around and no one was heeding any attention to him. I asked him ‘you need to go home? Should I take you?’ He replied ‘Home, Push, Push.’ I gripped the handle of his wheel chair and it told me how worn out its tires were. The joints of the chair were sticking on loose nuts and bolts. The paint had peeled off from many places and was showing the hideous rusted red beneath it. Once again the old man said ‘ Push, push, that side.’ His right hand went up in a broken harmony, pointing towards the street opposite the road as he asked me. I quickly calculated that it won’t take much time and with that thought I pushed his wheelchair. It didn’t move. I tried many times but it refused to move ahead. It just kept inching in slight angular jolts. I stared closely at the wheel. There were rubber bands, hair, threads and plastic sack strings rolled around the wheel joint. It was settled well on the little grease with dirt wrapped around. I aligned the wheel in front and pushed the chair again. The chair again took its little nudge and stopped there. I felt helpless and looked at him. He said’ Push, push. Just push.’ Looked around and still no one showed a glimpse of regard. Just sipping the plastic cup tea, smoking their gold flake and making business calls. I gave up and pushed as hard as I could. It resisted but gave up too like me and moved. I was on the main road. It had its one way traffic coming from behind and I with this old man on his unpredictable wheel chair, making a way from all this. All I knew was to not let the chair make its own path and move to the right. My right hand was digging into the worn out plastic of the handle. The old man raised his left hand this time and said ‘ Here, push, push, this way.’ I parted away into the street. Sweat had started to roll down on neck. I kept looking at the houses on the sides, trying to guess which one would be his house going by the appearance of it. That’s when a middle-aged man passed by giving a slight nod of recognition to the old man. I slowed down thinking his house had come. The tires made a squeaky noise and the old man said ‘Push, push.’ I looked back, that man was kicking the pedal of his scooter. He had left. Once again, I was pushing him while looking at the houses on the side. I had already made a few turns in that street and my sweatshirt was slowly getting damp. The houses were now looking barren of human presence and I had given up on looking at them. The road was sloping down now and I had to push him with a guided pull. With the next turn came a mountainous bump. The wheel chair meek to the challenge slid to the side and went back to its immovable stand. The old man kept with his words but this time the wheels had refused all my might like the stubborn hoofs of a horse. I bent down to the wheels and aligned them again but with each push it anchored back. My shoulders were drained and I gave one last defeated look at those unforgiving rubber wheels. I adjusted it again and once again pushed the wheelchair, the wheels turned again but didn’t stay sideways and moved. The old man raised his hand again with the wheels spinning. ‘Push, push.’ The street kept becoming thinner with each turn. The old man gestured to the side and said’ here, here, open.’ We had reached his house. It had a small blue metal gate. There were utensils lying outside drying in the sun. I pushed the gate open with slight hesitation. The curtains drew open from the door inside and a woman in her late forties walked out. She was wearing a synthetic sari with floral patterns drawn on it and was wrapped around tightly for household work. She came out with a pinch of recognition and pushed the utensils aside and left. I waited for a few moments. Waiting for the curtain to be drawn again. My wait was broken by the words from behind ‘ Open, open the gate.’ I opened the blue gate for the wheel chair and took the old man inside. He pointed with his trembling finger towards a dark passage lying at the corner of the house. When reached there, it approached to a door at the end of it. The old man tapped at me and asked me to take him to the door. As I pushed the chair, he waved his hand and said ‘ turn, turn it, you turn the chair.’ I walked backwards pulling the wheelchair. The corridor was too narrow for the wheels to be misguided. I stopped at the door. He asked me to open it. I asked for the keys and then noticed that there is no lock on it. I opened the door and walked into the room. It was engulfed in darkness with just a few rays of light falling from the shut window’s miserable openings. There were newspapers lying on the floor as if read in a hurry. The clothes were lying in clogged bundles sleeping on top of the other. The candle wax had melted on the table and was now one with it. There were plates of past meals put under the bed. It had the dried rice stuck to the edges with the yellow dal stained in patches. The bed was shared with everyday objects and had left a space for a body to sink into it. There was an almirah, I wondered what would be there to protect now in steel doors. The old man was waiting so, I stepped out. It was a two-step climb and I had to pull him in to his room with my last remaining strength. He held tightly to the wheelchair and I to those slippery plastic grips of it. He was home now. He held my hand and said, ‘thank you, thank you.’ I said ‘welcome.’ I once again looked at the sleeping corners of the room where days muffled up and waited for its end. I looked at him and asked, ‘you stay here?’ He couldn’t answer. He gestured with his hands drawing around the room but running short of words, only managed to say ‘yes, yes’. I looked out and it was just a tunnel and I was at the end of it. I looked at him last time and walked out, with a shadow of despair keeping me company. At the front door the curtains were still drawn, it didn’t move and no one came out. I stood there for a few moments that were beyond a clock’s reach. The house address was Anniyama Nilayam 45 A. I pulled the sleeve of my sweatshirt and the clock said 11:30. I still had time.