Afternoon Blues…

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Calm, quite Sunday afternoon . . . Lull ness at its peak. You decide to take a nap. But hang on . . . you look outside the window, golden rays of sunlight are falling on the vivid carpet of green outside, filtered by the dizzy leaves of the giant banyan. At the far end of the lawn, a woodcutter is busy shredding a fallen tree into pieces. The shattering branches occasionally rupture the otherwise beautiful and stupefying silence. A level below, you faintly hear your neighbor softly playing the intermezzo “Dhoop Ke Makaan Sa Ye”. Even you start to hum the jazzy tune and decide to forgo your siesta to admire the apparent beauty and poignancy of the world outside at this odd juncture.

As you admire the progress your home grown jasmine flower has made, your inner voice sarcastically remarks, “How poetic!!” You sigh . . . From your perspective, there are two types of guys in the world. One lot of them is alpha males, high on adrenaline, unsentimental and forever pissed off at things. The other lot of them is new generation males, often found sitting in the lounges, enjoying books and music, having a good social life. Well, you belong to the former lot (so does your inner voice scathingly reminds you) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . or the latter one??? Aah, you’re always confused about this. You don’t want to delve into this line of thought and decide to ignore your inner voice for this once.

Somewhere in the distance, a few birds have started chirruping a fine melody. The refrigerator’s humming on its own accord and your clock chimes 4. The woodcutter has finished his chore. He leaves. Deathly silence. The day had been busy for you with you completing all the unfinished business of the week. While sipping your kirsch, you gaze around at the houses of your suburb. Your mind is blank. The water in the pool outside your house shimmers weakly as it prepares to bid farewell to the sun yet another day.

Silence is suddenly torn by your cell phone’s message beep. You decide to see to it later. For now, it’s only you and the sleepy silence around.

You begin to reminisce about your past. Those beautiful days and that emblematic feeling of freshness when you first came down to settle in this suburb, away from the world. The world has changed quite a lot from then, but not this suburb. The people hear are good. You sometimes play soccer with the kids; the next-door grannies occasionally offer you home-made brownies; friends frequently barge in your house for dinner. . . It’s a wonderful life out here.

You suddenly notice a lizard on the wall observing you intently. It is distracted by a fly in its vicinity. Zap, the fly is struggling for its life. Crunch, the fly is dead. You begin to ponder over cycle of life and death. Bah, it is getting too philosophical. As for now, you suddenly realize that you haven’t even switched on the fans and yet you are feeling comfy. Symptoms of afternoon blues, you guess. You finally decide to see who had SMSed you.

It’s Yatharth. Your lips curl into a smile. A series of accidental events made him your best friend. And since then, he has been your guardian angel. His camaraderie is one of the few things you cherish in your life because you are an introvert soul, always in doubt. Yatharth’s the one who understands you and gives you a reality check when you need it and … when (you think) you don’t. You remember you have to return Yatharth’s ‘The God of Small Things’. Having made a mental note of that, you decide to have a hot cup of cappuccino (why, pray???).

Within minutes, you are with your mug sitting on the swing outside and feeling the warm breeze ruffle your well-combed hair. As a child, you always loved warm breezes. Cold breezes made you sneeze. Strange why people like cold breezes!

Your suburb is a green haven. Gigantic and wizening trees stand like mighty sentinels on both sides of the road. Parched yellow grass with green patches ornaments the level ground which is occasionally pimpled with small hillocks. Neatly trimmed bushes ….flowers in full bloom ….a peacock strutting majestically along the hedges ….dragonflies hovering about randomly in the air ….little ants scurrying off in directions unknown. You wish that this momentary bliss was eternal. You wish you could dissolve away in the sweet smell of laburnum. You wish you could forever breathe in the intoxicating smell of wet grass. You wish you could be a part of this evaporating silence, away from the sickening pandemonium of daily routine.

As your body bathes in the departing sunlight, you wish this serendipity never ends and that every quantum of your body could shimmer in its exorbitant elegance. This moment is a poet’s dream, you chuckle silently. Romanticism is what is usually delivered in poetry after such encounters!!

A bead of sweat trickles down your face. You glance at your watch. 5:30. Tut, tut, time to go home (!!!), you remind yourself and whistle back indoors leaving a bit of your essence outside which eventually sublimes into nothingness. You seriously think that this mystifying experience has had an indelible impact on you, yet you forget about it the very next day….

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