2 AM in the morning. Or late evening, may be. Crickets are on their daily duty and bats have gone to sleep. When I was a kid, someone told me that the sound of chirping of crickets is actually the sound of twinkling of stars. I guess that is why I still find this sound very pleasant.
68 days since I have left my building. Time has moved from being blocks to a continuous wave. Sleep cycles have shortened and sleep sessions have increased. There is no breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is sort of 1 meal every 6 hours.
I am reading a book titled ‘The Things that Nobody Knows”. Many interesting facts in there, but I am more curious about the title. It should have been “The Things that Very few people Know”. Anyways, this book confirmed my long time suspicion against the belief that almost all polar bears are left-handed.
Humans have moved out of Wadala House. And all other creatures have moved to Mango tree. Pollution has gone down so much that I can actually see bats hanging on my ceiling fan (yes, ceiling fan, not table fan. Bats cannot hang on a table fan. Or can they?).
P.S. Also, there is no confirmed evidence why the neck of giraffes evolved the way they did.
We had an unexpected company as soon as we started our hike. The clouds which were forming up since last few hours had decided to let go, as the rains came down to greet us while we moved up the trail. It was not raining very heavily, nor was it too light to be discounted. Kind of perfect setting for a short hike early in the morning.
The streams on the way were also happy to see this new visitor. They cut across our path, singing happily and dancing down the forest. We could see few blue patches in the sky, but the clouds predominantly filled the canvas. They were not too solid, like the ones you see at times – huge boulders of black, throwing tantrums as they sluggishly moved forward. Nor were they too light – like a puff of smoke, at the risk of being blown away at the first sign of an intoxicated breeze. They were like a small hut made of mud, sitting happily in the fields, content to see things as they are.
And to talk about the trees. They were all chirpy and waving handsomely. There were more shades of green across the valley than I could name. The entire setup looked like Nature has maxed up on Saturation. It was a symphony of colors, playing right in front of our eyes. We moved away from the trail and started climbing up the path of a waterfall. Small jet of streams passing by served as a warning – Do not stay on this path for too long, as it was not made for you. We heeded to it, and switched to the human trail shortly.
We were looking down at the trail we came from. The path of the waterfall and the trail cris-crossed all the way to the bottom. It was difficult to make out one from other. And even though, while ascending, we were very sure of which was which, it all seemed to have blurred away into a single entity. They were different, yet they were the same. So were the streams. And the trees and clouds. And us.
The first thing I noticed post leaving the airport was the sign “Towards Metro Station”. Amidst cab drivers trying to catch your attention, the sign was a breath of fresh air. I moved towards it, negating all the efforts made my cab drivers to convince me that the new Metro is not worth it and the technological growth is only for our demise.
The station was clean as a whistle. The ticketing completely automated. And the word “rush” non-existent – Advantage of having Metro in a non-Metro. Metro saved me few bucks and more importantly, a lot of time. I de-boarded at IT College [Isabella Thoburn and not Info Tech], and came across a new branch of Dastarkhwaan near my home. Good vibes already 😀
If you are an alien to your State and visit your home only on a bi-annual subscription, you would connect with what I have to say. In my earlier trips, the entire auto journey that lasted from station to home was marked by a basket of sweet and bitter memories.
The Gun market near Charbag always made me wonder who buys these guns. I have never seen any civilian with a gun in Lucknow. We fire bullets with our tongue and that too starting with “Aap”. Sikander Bag, the coaching Mecca of Lucknow. 2 years of cycling from Aliganj to Hazratganj is bound to leave a permanent mark in your memory. So does the trips to CCD [which, in hindsight, might cost you few marks :P] Smriti Vatika, with statue of Nehru and Gandhi, and Gomti flowing under the bridge. Gol Market, which used to host discounted sale every Wednesday. The list goes on and on.
Now, with metro making in roads, all these chapters will be skipped. May be this was what cab driver was talking about. Quite visionary. Is this the way things are supposed to be? Make way for new, while trying to hold on to as much of old as possible. I guess I got to learn from this – See how things shape out.
Lucknow is my rehab. My spiritual retreat. My temple. Whenever I am stressed out and none of my techniques seem to work, I always have Lucknow as my last resort. Memories, like Hermione’s time turner, has a magical healing effect. I am not saying that all memories are happy memories. The bitter memories, too, have their use. They have helped me much more than happy memories, in finding closure.
My city is voting tomorrow. I am here to join my people in this festival of democracy. Someday, the journey that I am on is going to bring me back here. I look forward to that day.
This is my mental detox week. For me, this week is just about reminding myself the things that I already know. The things that, at times, get lost in the hustle and bustle of city. At other times, you intentionally block them out for a larger purpose. Either way, you lose the grip. It is so difficult to attain a calm state of mind. And so easy to lose it.
I am looking forward to get back on that life frequency that I have been seeking of late.
Passing between lips, an ancestry reminiscent of the chewed betel-nut grandmother transmitted from recesses of her stained teeth onto palm of an unlettered hand And again to my mouth.
Many years later I found myself teaching tradition handed down by word of mouth. A cane basket we put our socks in was stuffed with her stories.
It suddenly became a nest and I flew with unknown birds, giddy and half asleep seeking blankets of cloud in the maize field of the mythical cat who sometimes ploughed the sky.
The cane basket disappeared when a wooden cabinet took up residence in our three-room house. Socks found a nest and I began writing the first few letters of the alphabet.
Myiem, where my ancestors prayed for their deliverance from bitter winter, where they wrestled with earth and stone to script remembrances.
Today, lost and approaching fifty, surrounded and imprisoned by books, I sometimes murmur a prayer: “Grandmother, tell me another story”
– I read this poem in the village of Nongriat, Meghalaya. These words took me back to my village of Ghazipur. The days when stories were an integral part of our life. Why did we stop telling stories?I could not find this poem online. I am looking for this book – Do let me know if you know this book. Thanks.