Saturday, March 17, 2007

An evening in paradise

Evenings used to depress me. As a kid, as a teenager, as a younger woman. Evenings carry a melancholy hue that is hard to overcome. Especially the most divine sunsets. When the sky is different shades of crimson and the sun is a huge ball at its most beautiful, slowing sinking... taking with it the last traces of light. And then are a few magical moments. Moments of twilight, of dusk. Neither day nor night. When legend has it that magic takes place.

Yes, it does. My heart aches with the beauty of being in the moment. A moment I cannot hold on to or stretch.

When younger, I remember sitting on the steps of my house and watching the sky, the horizon. Mom would be taking a walk down the wide open lane and then a few of her friends would meet at our gate. The wrought iron gate which would be open. They talk and I would catch bits of their laughter floating in the air. I look upwards and watch a straight line of birds flying past. Another flock would fly by. I wondered why they all flew in the same direction, in the evenings. Far off, I see the faint outline of a range of blue mountains. Suddenly I yearn for something, a deep craving for something unknown. A person, a feeling, a physical thing. I would want to be somewhere else, in a distant land where horses raced in the sunset and vineyards bloomed with the sea beside. And as night sets in, Mom takes my hand and we go in, and I forget it all.

Then when I stayed away from home, the evenings would take me back home. To the same stairs where I sat with the same feeling. This time I would yearn for the blue mountains and the sight of the tall trees amidst the tea gardens. I often sat by the sea, the breeze sweeping back my hair. I would watch the glistening water and speak somberly to friends who sit beside in the same mood. Again an insistent ache, a gripping pain would haunt me. The salty air would hurt my eyes and tears rolled down, sometimes freely. Again the moment would pass, the magic would touch. And leave. I pick myself up and go back to my reality.

Today, evenings no longer have that effect on me. One reason could be I no longer see enough sunsets. In the dark when I step out of office, I carry with me a sense of calmness. I lock myself into the car, switch on the radio and start driving. At stretches where the road is long, lined with trees, and I just have the moon for company, I feel a strange oneness, a strange kind of welcome loneliness. As I reach home, I snap out of it and walk into the warmth of my cozy haven.

But I miss the pain of depression that so strongly swept over me before. I miss romanticizing the evenings that made me sit and stare into the horizon. I miss the hunger to go beyond the horizon. Even if for just one evening, I would love to live it all over again.

Monday, March 05, 2007


It was Holi again and the usual revelry took place. Only this time after eating and drinking too much I fell into an abyss of sleep. Somehow things are not the same anymore. I cannot do without so many things. My sleep, the right food. I abuse any of it and the results are not too pretty.

I live on a plane that seems so removed. I no longer find pleasure in all that I used to. Sometimes the things that excite my friends piss me off or I find them silly. Some time back close friends visited with a one year old kid. Very smart baby. Can talk in single syllable which so thrills the parents. The mother, my close friend says, "Have you noticed, how well behaved she is. She doesn't fling sofa cushions on the floor like other kids."

"Yes, yes, I noticed that." I assured just in time to hold out my palm for the mobile phone the little one was smashing on my center table. And silently I wonder how my bedsheets, sofas, doors and windows, have all got smeared with tiny handprints of melted chocolate. While I give up and smile, the parents just run around with the camera clicking silly shots of a messy with chocolate kid.

Yes, these are the things a lot of my friends are occupied with nowaday. Other than whipping out a boob even in public whenever a baby protests and cries for it.

And then what about the jokes that the world finds so funny they laugh like hyenas while I watch whose mouth is bigger and whose teeth can start scraping coconuts. The other day, we had a spiritual lecture. A serious discussion where we were asked not to hold back, told to sit without folding arms in front, to let go and laugh when we felt like it. And some did exactly that. Whatever was said, they found it funny and rolled over in mirth. And I started getting irritated with all the laughing.

And on Holi, I watched my neighbour rub a handful of colour all over her friend's husband's face and giggle away. They both laughed really loud and I watched in disgust from my 8th floor balcony. I didn't find it funny again.