Prosaic View from a Balcony
It has been a few months since I shifted — from a place where mornings and afternoons and evenings and nights were indistinguishable from each other to a place where the paucity of evenings consumes me. Leaving behind a home of 20 years the aura and the vibe of this new place is strange but not unwelcoming.
Wise wo(men) have said that sometimes to thrive you may need to shed your past life without apprehensions and step into the new one (please don’t ask who this wise person is). The sun seems to be on a stroll of self-reflection thereby motioning as tardily as it can from east to west. The days here seem to me to go by slowly. The days that allow you to move away from your study table, go to the balcony and just gaze unmindful and unknowingly into the sky. The platitude that allows you to breathe and relax your shoulders. It’s more of a feeling where you are mindful of the passage of time and breathes in every moment of it.
I always fantasize about how ordinary and slow my life would be, not free from work particularly when I’ll be old. I’d wake up at 6 and make breakfast for myself, and for my cats obviously, move around the house until its late afternoon — the ostensibly painful time that I’d come to enjoy and spend reading books. The tranquillity of evenings that I’d be pleased with. You know just live a dope old life. This is how I feel now. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I have too much free time, now that I have graduated (ah, the crisis I get every time I say it out loud)
Balconies are a happening place. In the book Lowland, Jhumpa talks about Gauri’s (one of the characters of the book) love for balconies — establishing her as a character that is observing the world minutely, not living in ignorance, but from a distant aloofness, not wanting to be a part of it.
She’d observed the world, she told him, all of life, from this balcony. Political processions, government parades, visiting dignitaries. The momentous stream of vehicles that started each day at dawn. The city’s poets and writers passing by after death, their corpses concealed by flowers. Pedestrians wading knee-deep through the streets, during the monsoon….But the balcony had always been her place. (you can click here to read this scintillating book)
There may not be processions and rallies passing by that one can view from my balcony. The things are rather mundane and to one may even seem downright boring. Who would find it interesting that an aunty at 5 PM every day comes to her balcony without ever missing a day and gets on a call? I wonder who does she talk to? Is it her mother or is she a teenage girl (I definitely can not rely on my non-working eyes adorned by specs) giggling with her partner? An aged couple comes to the balcony in the early morning and late evening. The uncle always in a white coloured vest stands in the middle, his hands on the railings. It is oddly unsettling that I find it amusing (omg am I a creep?). Once, an ambulance came out of the building and for a while, I kept searching for the uncle (he is alright friends and yup, still in that white vest). What might, however, be interesting is that someone whistles to the tune of DDLJ after it gets dark quite often. Who is this romantic even?
One thing that is perturbating is the sight of delivery personals getting lost like a ship in the Pacific might without proper navigation and guidance. Why do people not fill in their complete addresses at the time of order? How dismaying it is to see them tiresomely searching for one single apartment. If you happen to read this, please put your address properly with clear indications of the floor that you live on. Ugh!
Kids spill out of their homes just as the sun starts setting — taking away the scorching heat with itself. Their boisterous laughter and unrestrained energy reverberate through the alleys and park. I wonder where people of my age are. Are they so overworked and exhausted that they barely have the energy to get out? I remember this one girl who always waves hello to me from her balcony whenever I happen to pass by her house. Her smile and laughter are carefree from all the responsibilities and anxieties that are to come in the next 10 years or so for her. Another toddler came running behind me today and ah, he/she (I can barely recognize the gender of a tot) was so cute. I tell you, I have reached the heights of the loner phase as my friends now are 5-year toddlers. Much to my chagrin, I am not even mortified to accept it as the only human interaction I can have with strangers without being conscious are these kids.
Late at night, there is a boy who takes his dog for a walk. His dog does not have a leash, which is a very good thing but (please don’t hate on me) every time I see it, I have to change my route because I am so scared of dogs and it starts following me. It’s hilarious when I talk about it because the dog is roaming elsewhere and the boy, on his phone unbothered, elsewhere. He notices the doggo only when it starts following someone. But every time I see it my brain goes on a loop what if it jumps on me, who will leash it, what if it bites me, what am I gonna do. Someone just save me already! I know this is the stupidest fear ever but ugh, there are so many dogs here and all seem to look at me and follow me and my heart gets all racey-pacey and sadly not with excitement. Except for this one furry doggo named Jerry that I like because it’s so soft, innocent and ah the love it pours out.
There are many anecdotes and stories that I could write about but it seems that this blog has been long enough as it is. I have romanticized my life enough to the extent that I occasionally go to the park, take my slippers off, put on my headphones (and my music choice is totes 11/10 hehe) and walk on the soft grass gazing wistfully into the soft palette that the sky is, with clouds churning into a makkhan from curd. Why is there only one star in the sky? Is it Venus radiating its might?
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” — John Lubbock