Monday, August 11, 2014

Evenings set apart by 9448 kms


There was a small rectangular skylight on the attic roof. Barely enough to squeeze my head out when it didn’t snow or rain and pointlessly gaze at the scene outside. It was on the roof slant that faced backside of the building with nothing much to see. But for an attic without a window, even that bit of view was sometimes enough.

When it snowed, I blankly stared at the unending cycle of tiny fluffs slowly covering the shut skylight’s glass and then tumbling down when it became too thick. Rain was always monotonous with the droplets pelting mechanically without anything else happening. Once it was all over, I would place a chair below, stand on it and carefully poke my head out to resume watching. People pulled down shutters when it snowed and there was hardly anything for me to see outside than an occasional car speeding across drawing two parallel black lines on the road blanketed by snow.

Sometimes, I got out and took a cautious stroll in the evenings through the deserted roads with all the shops shut, as they often did. Making the boot marks on the snow all the way behind me. Cars and buses would pass by with the insulated people inside. At times there would be a prostitute waiting by the side of the road dressed in short tights in a really depressing way, rocking back and forth with the sight of every car that sped past.

It was as if the rain and snow fell on the uncovered spirits of people here. It would always be gloomy when it rained or snowed in the evenings. Even the pubs and the parks would assume a sort of worn out look. I would always be reminded of the evenings in my village as a kid where the voltage often dropped during that time of the day. If it rained, power would be cut off and we would sit in the portico with an oil lamp lit and kept at a distance with rain flies buzzing around it. Frogs would croak from the flooded paddy fields.

Turin, away from my village by 9448 kms.


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