I Wonder!

I can’t really recall if what I’m going to talk about was my summer vacation or the start of long Dussehra holidays in October.

What I remember clearly though, is the sweltering heat, the yellow iron gate guarding our yard, my brother who had playfully climbed on top of the gate while me and my mum stood by the front door watching him play.

Now let me describe that yellow gate – it brought a unironed symphony to our home. It was a pale yellow, sturdy, 2-flanked metal structure that opened directly out to the beauty of the world. When it opened, the hinges creaked in a staccato rhythm. The 2 flanks hinged on iron rails on both sides, upholding the fence on either side. Looking from where I and my mom were seeing it, the left flank of the gate was lower than the right, leaning in from the top edge where they met (or should’ve met). Which meant that when the gate was shut using the latch on the top, it left ample gap at the bottom for stray dogs to wander in and out of our lawn, absolutely unhindered, an opportunity not many dogs missed considering the ginormous mango tree in our yard for the shade. Not that they really needed a gap, for the gate had rectangles cut out inside it, ones that made the gate, a practical sham!

Why am I talking about the gate? It’s this gate that I often dream about. One that opens to someplace unknown. Having yet to feel and cross it, the gate seems like it’s built of grey smoke only to fool my eyes. The fear of everything covered in orange haze/smoke on the other side, numbs my legs like I’m magically flying. When I look around, I find myself on an abandoned railway platform. The trains chugging pass fast and in huge numbers, watched only by a pair of eyes waiting for a trigger, but nothing happens. Nothing ever happens!

I often wonder what the dream means? Am I scared of abandoned railway stations? Am I scared of orange smoke? Do I love my legs so much that I fear for my life having no sensations in them?

Or is it my place of zen where I wish to be all the time?

I wonder!

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

This post will depend a lot on imagination. Your imagination. I so wish that I could narrate the first house that we lived in but I can surely remember a lot of our second house and it’s the one I remember vividly. But to narrate the complete picture of the house you’ll have to jump into the eyes of that child who remembers this house, because for an adult, this post will be a three-liner post.

Child says – wear your blue and white rubber slippers.

He takes you to an enormous iron gate, with two misaligned sides. The latch on the top doesn’t fit in properly, so the gate gets locked using chains, heavy ones. The child has the key, he opens the gate that squeal and open without even a push. He grabs your hand, slowly walks you on the cement pavement in the front yard. A huge yard, laden with nearly all types of flowers, a huge mango tree, next to a small play area neatly bordered by lines of roses and multitude of plants, some really interesting ones. It has one whose leaves fold when you touch them, it has one that grows flowers the size of half his hand and they don’t open till they are ripe. They open with a POP. The boundaries are covered by money plants and some plants that grow a tiny berry like fruit that has a crunchy center. The child loves it but lately found that he is allergic to the fruit.

The play area connects to a square part that grows vegetables and grows guava trees, the ones with red fruit. The produce includes gourds, tomatoes, water melons, variety of pepper, and anything that dad decides to grow. Oh such fertility of the land! Turn left and you see a huge berry tree covering half the terrace of the house. Between the vegetable area and the tree was a small gate that led into the backside of the house connected by another cement pavement. This pavement received guard of honor from a set of guava trees and ended at the door next to a cement water tank on one side and wash area on the other.

Now boy decides to take you from the backside itself for his mother has called in for lunch and hurries you in and asks his mother to serve you lunch too. But not too much, for those “ALOO KA PARATHAS” are way too delicious to let go. He wants to eat them all and so won’t share. Mother smiles when she looks at you and secretly lets you know, there’s enough food for 10 people. Now that your food is fixed, you relax and take a look around while the boy hogs his lunch at the huge dining table right beside the door thru which you entered the house.

As you face away from this door and into the house, you see the master bedroom neatly done and cleaned up. Take a few steps forward and through a hallway you see another room at the end of it. The room is messy, full of toy cars visible from below the curtain. The hallway also leads to the loo and bathroom which are both separate.

Take a look left and you see the guest area, with TV at the far corner safely tucked inside a brown casing. A huge yellow Almira right beside it and two huge Philips boom speakers on top near the ledge. A sofa set, a center table, and very oddly a scooter, that greets the front door of the house, parked at the guest room’s entrance. Step into my parents bedroom and you find a bed (quite obviously) at the center of the room and another yellow Almira overlooking the bed. The windows on the far wall opened into the garden on the front. Oh what a view! You hold you breath, inhaling the sweet smell of the roses and slowly releasing it…

As you enter the boy’s bedroom, that is also his play room, you immediately know that these are his summer vacations for the number of toys laid on the floor in the afternoon and an unsolved puzzle on the bed with pieces missing. You wonder where they are.

The boy though is now done with his lunch and it’s your turn. Go hog before the parathas go cold!

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