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.

20 Comments:

Anonymous bluespriite said...

May be because you've found the unknown that you were yearning for?

7:22 PM  
Blogger upsilamba said...

Lovely!

7:57 PM  
Blogger Sudipta Chatterjee said...

You just recreated the evening in all its majestic glory for us here! Wish you many more such deep touching sunsets

8:32 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Oh man I couldn't relate more!

I used to go shut the gates at the end of our long driveway back home...every day, walking past the hedges in the hazy twilight. It was so calm and so sad. I miss that part of the day...there's no twilight anymore...the day just rolls and rolls here.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Stone said...

Beautiful!!
I guess we all have many such things...but we try to forget all that!
and sometimes those memories hit-hard, coz they were always there whether we accept it or not!

Change in seasons do something to me, specially transition from summers to winters, that slight cold evening air, shortening of days make lil depressed...or dunno ....
And i think I should shut up now :-)

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

u know thats why i have stopped going to the terrace of my building....becoz the horizon pulls u so!! sometimes it makes me mad just thinking that i cant go. but ya...it doesnt depress me. it just helps me be me for just that little 'magical' time!

bips

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Twilight Fairy said...

twilight + magic = twilight fairy :p :)

BTW wrote to u at ur gmail id.

and Gabs..twilight is not gone! twilight's here!

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful! the id is kamala.aithal@gmail.com

11:42 AM  
Blogger Swathi said...

twilights still have that effect on me and the perfect word for it is 'melancholy', and I realized tat the best way to avoid it is to venture out of office after darkness has set in, but then there are the unavoidable weekends.

10:59 AM  
Blogger shub said...

"I miss romanticizing the evenings that made me sit and stare into the horizon"
wow! that line struck a chord!

11:04 AM  
Blogger Priyanka Mahanta said...

Beautiful thought put into words. U have outdone yourself again...as always...

9:37 PM  
Blogger Anil P said...

Horizon beckons where the sky ends, but the sky doesn't end. Sunset recalls the night from yesterday, but the night doesn't return. The night terminates the day, but the day does not terminate, it returns the next day.

Closure seeks an end, but the end is merely another beginning. Else what sunset would stir the continuity of stillness so, or for that matter what stillness hold the continuity so?

Everything moves, bak and forth.

Back and forth. Like always.

1:57 AM  
Blogger Arunima said...

very well written.

Nowadays, I don't get to see the sunset at all.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Namrata Goswami said...

That's one hell of a graphic piece, artfully beautiful

10:19 PM  
Blogger Namrata Goswami said...

thats a really beautiful piece

10:20 PM  
Anonymous speck said...

Anurima,
Hopped to your blog and I would certainly be a regular visitor to your blog now onwards...

As for this post, I can so well relate. Very well written... :)

~speck

3:19 PM  
Anonymous speck said...

Anumita,

Pardon me for the wrong name I typed ..

3:23 PM  
Blogger Manish said...

I always loved evening...and thats why loved ur post too

10:54 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

bluespriite: Maybe. But why would I not be aware of it then? :)

upsilamba: Thank you.

sudipta: Thank you Sudipta. I hope you are admiring gorgeous sunsets in the west.

gratis: Exactly. That's that I mean.

stone: No no. I love when you express yourself. Changes in seasons do things to me too. I love all of them.

bips: Isn't it magical indeed! I speak of a depression I look forward to, that strangely hurts to heal.

twilight fairy: I always loved your name. I saw the name somewhere and followed your mystical page long before I actually started blogging!

kamala: Will write to you. Very soon.

swathi: Isnt it a melancholy feeling indeed? So beautiful, so solitary... it hurts?

shub: How you doing?

priyanka: You flatter me.

anilp: Beautifully replied. Thank you.

arunima: Thank you. Since writing this and summer visiting, I have been seeing a few sunsets :)

namrata: Thank you. Twice over.

speck: Thank you, Speck. Will try to write more often.

manish: Thank you and welcome to the blog.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Dust Unsettled said...

Beautiful... Simply love u for writing it...
I felt the same way in my school and college days... What a perfect description...
Thanks for bringing my evenings on your canvas...

4:05 PM  

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