Like Before

Like before, when the blue afternoon light would pass through the yellow annealed glass.

When the exposure inside the living room was always one stop lower, the green outside was like a safe cocoon, constantly moving; making us know that it was constantly breathing, that it was never passive.

Each stimulus reached its soul, it wasn’t stuck to the ground, he had already reached the sky.
A child inside, reflecting specks of light from the bed room towards the living room, using glass bottles and anything she could find, to throw light of different colours and shapes on to the cream coloured walls.

Some afternoons the sunlight didn’t quite angle inside the home so then there was the using of the rusted almirah to play the role of a weather woman.

The fantasy of being a princess wrapped in her bed sheet, using the magnifying glass and trying to to burn the paper. It was always so cool in those summers. Quaint and slow; I wish I could recall the smells of that time more strongly.

The mixing of sketch pen refills in water, aware of the wastage but, I preferred the sight of the ink forming waves through the water instead of its traditionally moulded straight lines.

The curves weren’t coaxed by my fingers but by its own will. Paint brushes; chunks of dry water colours waiting to be crushed and made into its liquid form again. Those delicious syrups of joy wanted to spread across into anything and everything. The tips of your tiny fingers, the floor, the bed, the bowl of water and all those places it always managed to reach.

Sitting alone again, on the floor, the door may have been slightly ajar, it could have been a  winter afternoon but  in my memories of childhood, I gave it the definition of a summer afternoon.

When the mother was trying to send her hyper active child for a nap. The afternoon was never hot or sweaty, it was always cool, the fan being enough. The silence of an afternoon when not many were treading the streets outside ;slowly my mind would go into an even more silent space, no it wasn’t morose or worried or sulking. It liked to think and then on some days even write.

Dreaming of writing a book, at the time it was the idea of a book that seemed more charming than the words inside it.

One day I tore a bunch of double sheets, stapled them together and started drawing  its cover page. I don’t know where it is now!

But I know that I remember it, I remember where I had hidden it. The colour I had used most abundantly on its cover page. Yellow

I loved my dreams, I loved my mind, the crazy friends that resided in it, the voices of so many that were just fragments of me, of my fears of my simple avenues of happiness.The strange games I’d play with myself, the mud and water made to look like mugs brimming with chocolate, the garden where the bulbul’s mother taught her child how to fly.

Where the roses once bloomed in variety, and in those afternoons the school kids actually bothered to pluck those white and scarlet roses. It’s the light; it’s the sweetness of that time. I must have hated it then, must have said that I wanted to be where I am now.

But I want the paint again, that silent afternoon with my paint brushes and the drawing book, the messed up kitchen where I had again tried experimenting with the spices.

The ceiling seemed even higher, the wooden chandelier sort of a thing hung, and as it hung, it created shadows the  from the tungsten bulb. It even did a slight dance of sorts when the cooler was on. The big old cooler. At night when I didn’t feel like falling asleep, I would close my eyes, and start to walk towards the cooler, simply listening to the strength of its wings, the wind it could create. Imagining a dark night in a forest, a storm, a tornado, anything that would delight me and for some reason everything did delight my mind.

I was still tender not just in age but in case of memories. Time hadn’t passed yet, she hadn’t learnt to look back and make a list of things that she should have done. There was just the present.

The silent afternoon that moved so slowly and opened into an evening, out of home with others, four yards away, a shout away, the mother could see her through the kitchen window if she strained.

But you forget, I write this for my home, not for what happened outside the gate or outside the garden, so this story must end when the afternoon ends.

And the afternoon has ended indefinitely for now.

I’d like to sleep in the cool bed sheet, almost as cold as the floor again. But it never is the right temperature, is it?


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