Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sometimes at #10

I’m probably just repeating myself. I do that. Life is a long series of the same and co-incidences. I am probably repeating myself. Have I said ever before that the summer in my city is everything superlative? Quite literally, it is awesome, it is brilliant, and it is severe and probably quite beautiful, if you have a mind open enough to accept it, to even embrace it. The mornings shine like the mirror. Every reflective surface will blind you with its one wink in your direction. Within a closed room, a strange sultriness will embalm you. And then there’s the hot hot breeze, which will cool the sweat off your brow and then proceed to suck the last drop of anything hydrating from your body. It is demonic. We stand powerless in its grip. We stand hypnotized by its stern gaze. In the afternoons, the sun glares you down, no matter what protection you took, or how brave you are. Your face will burn, your nostril too and your eyes will water and the tears will dry on your face even before they had the time to disengage from your eyelashes. The remnant salt on your red brown face will taste less salty, more hot and bitter. No matter how much you try, how many times you wash yourself, you will always smell of the summer. How does the summer smell? Like dust. Dust in a dry jar. Your pores will spew ancient dust. You’ll be so dry; you’ll begin to wonder if the summer is outside you or within you. There will be this unanswered, even unqueried question on everybody’s tongue. Nobody but an outsider will ask it. We denizens know giving voice to it only increases your impatience. You’ve sat in a sauna like room, with no power, at 1 in the night, with no breeze in sight or touch. When the sweat pricks your eyes and there’s a puddle beneath you and you are still able to thank the fates that at least there’s no sun, we are insiders. We the real insiders never ask each other, “where, when are the rains?” we instead maintain stoic, severe silence and pretend nonchalance. In the privacy of our balconies, we sometimes look up at the sky and check the cloud formation and look far into the horizon, to search for that first loaded pregnant nimbus cloud. But we never rejoice before time. Sometimes, a quick summer shower catches us unawares. We look outside the window expecting to see the mirror, and instead we see fleeing delirious dogs and gray leaves slowly turning green, clean and the roads a dark black, we quickly leave everything else we were doing and go for a walk. Our summer footwear unsuitable for puddles and slippery roads, we roll up our pants and start walking. It’s indescribable, this relief, it’s difficult to put into words the joys of discovering unknown lanes and turns. New clean gleaming houses almost welcome us in; we scared of their human owners hurry on ahead. We meet several dead-end s. But the weather, the evening will last just a few minutes, so we brave up and tackle them too, and discover forgotten dead lakes and find trees, which give us privacy and some moments which are not new and not original and indeed are as old as time itself, but which this rain washed evening feels quite new and completely and unabashedly our own.

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