At 11:30 in the night, I sit on a revolving chair by the window and gaze outside. It has been raining almost the whole day today and the roads are wet.
Yet I see the busy junction of roads is still bustling with activity. I see people in their running outfits waiting for the signal to turn green. ‘Who on earth would run at 11 pm on a rainy night?’, I wonder.
The wet leaves of the raintrees (thoongumoonji maram) are closed and fast asleep. There is a chillness in the air because of the rain.
Buses, including double decker ones, having hardly 2 or 3 passengers are going in all directions. A lot of unhired taxis, two wheelers and even cycles are passing by. Construction vehicles are also on the move.
As I am writing this, I remember the poem S had for her exam today, ‘From a Railway Carriage’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. In that poem, the poet describes the sights seen from a moving train.
Even as I write the words, ‘The poet describes’, I remember the numerous poems which my sister and I had to study for our Hindi Prachar Sabha Hindi exams. By the time we reached the final level, I had started to immensely enjoy Hindi poetry. Unfortunately, I am not able to recollect much today, barring a few like Rashmirati and Madhushala. More than Hindi or the poetry or the dohas, I would say that we learnt a lot more about the values of life through all the Hindi books.
Coming back to the views from my window, I even see a family with small children walking by. There is silence only inside my house. I wonder who these many people are, who are out on the roads at this odd hour on a weekday night?
Coming back to ‘From a Railway Carriage’, reading that poem immediately made me reminisce the views from a moving train in the beautiful countryside of Belgium. Those lush green meadows in front of those cottage-like independent houses were as pleasing as the pleasant weather outside. The horses grazing and the slides and swings in the backyard presented a calming, relaxed life from the interiors of the air- conditioned train. The fields passing by reminded me of the countryside of our own country.
Recollecting that rustic charm of a countryside makes me yearn for a visit to one now.
Alas, me the paranoid who hasn’t stepped out unnecessarily during this pandemic, won’t do so for quite some more time to come.
I will continue to gaze at the raintrees, the flying mynahs and orioles, the lazy pigeons and enjoy the occasional visits by koels and woodpeckers, the frequent petrichor, the pitter-patter of raindrops and its accompanying pleasant breeze, the orange and pink of the sky during sunset, all from the comfort of my own home through this window. I feel blessed to get my daily dose of nature through this very window.