3 September 2010

Long time, old friend.

It's just one of those days. Fortunately, when I feel like writing. There's been a long hiatus, a very long one. Life's been busy, the mind's been sidetracked into something of a less fantasy-friendly direction.

With all the Historians, their words, ideas and the facts and theories, the vital part of creaitvity was probably being ignored but I think Erich Segal's Only Love tapped into the dozing, lazy writer, jerking up tears, making me miss things, being homesick and citysick and nostalgic. For everything. And every one.

Making me think about the rain at my old house, the pattering on the roof and the partial comforting darkness of the late afternoons, enveloping me in the utter love and the essence of what life is made of.

And I guess the worst thing I hate about the room I'm in now is that it doesn't have a window. Probably the ONLY room I ever saw so unfortunate. It's like being blind. Reminds me of eyes being the windows to the soul.

And it's only through the screams and shouts from the corridor that I come to know that it's raining right now, as I type.

Rain was there yesterday when I went out but strangely it wasn't pleasant enough and that's on rare occasions that I feel that. Waddling through knee-deep dirty water is never pleasant, I think. For any one.

There was some refuge in the rain-time ice-cream tradition we've come to perform. But even that was short-lived.

The streets are generally alive with the college kids, their shopping and their somethingortheothers, but occasionally there's something deeper and thought-provoking for the listless brain and the periodically blind mind's eye.

Like a few days ago passing between the row of buildings, walking on through the somewhat narrow lanes of restaurants, various stores with t-shirts on display, small shops selling momos and the old, old wooden doors of the ancient-looking houses resting in between them, up there, in one of the first floor windows.

Moving my eyes up from the muddy wet ground to the lighted small balcony, I see an old man sitting very near the railing, with his head bowed down to the people passing below, an almost sinister expression on his face, but blank nonetheless. Craze and anger.

Sitting on a small stool.. he stared down at people, moving his head along the direction we went, sitting deathly still, tensed, with just his eyes and then subsequently his head following us. I jerk my head back from looking at him, but can't resist looking back once more just to see if I just imagined it.

But, no, there he is, looking back at me in the eye, blank and strange. I rush on ahead to my friends and decide then to think about it later.

And it's right then that I know that this will be written about. Now or later. Stories started materialising out of think air and I asked if he could be locked up, nah. Or probably just another normal old person angry for just a minute at something trivial. Or what WAS it that made him this way. It could be a number of things ranging from the trivial to insane. But I keep this for sometime else.

There are other eerily amazing things going around in this so-called young people's abode. This University area we see. There are people living here.. in this ancient city, the old houses, the pigeons in the building next door, which I will never understand is lived in or not.

It was my second night here that I spent an hour sitting in a balcony looking at the building, my friends occasionally shining torch light into one of the windows. Empty rooms in the subsequent floor. Thank god for that. The floor below had a cooler fixed on a window and we could see people moving about in the darkness. An old building with the yellow paint peeling apart, the blue beneath it visible.

Sometimes I imagine out building as the Gringotts Bank, with the striking similarity in the shape. Bit smaller, I think. Us Goblins, working on laptops, watching TV, cursing the terrible food. Funny. Never thought of being a Goblin until now.

The building with the plaster peeling off is lovingly named the Pigeon Building by yours truly. A row of pigeons sitting on a window ledge. And just sitting there. Till the end of time. Not even moving a quarter of an inch.

And it's not just the animals.

On the way to McD there comes a series of permanent people on the sidewalk. It's not every time that I notice but then he's not that easily noticeable too. This little figure couched down on the sidewalk, sitting against the wall, covered and wrapped in off-white clothes, and a makedo turban on his head. And I don't even know if he's a he or even his age.

The face is never seen, just the hands outstretched from under the tattered cloth wrapped around his puny shoulders, a small frail figure with his head bowed low, sitting in a corner, not saying a word. Not asking for money , just not doing anything except sitting there hidden with both his hands opened together as if he's holding something precious that we can't see.

Then there are the two little kids who sit with a weighing scale, ignoring it much of the time, as people step over it carefully moving along the narrow sidewalk. While the two little people carefully and meticuolously copy notes from the textbook to their notebook. Discussing with each other something very important while they study. Not more than 7 or 8 years old. And their heads at the right place. Probably siblings, one girl and one boy. Sitting quietly, lost in their own world. Studying.

And such a crude contrast to us "DU students". Take a hint.

Another are other small children selling mint and tiny chocolates, trailing around people, running behind them, shieking in their little childish voices. Yesterday, as it happened, waiting around in a line for the ATM, a "bhaiya" apparently bought a chocolate for my friend and asked this little chocolate seller to give it to her.

And great laughter ensued. For the stretch of time waiting for the ATM, being inside the room and getting away from there. And the poor child trailing behind us all the way pushing the chocolate on to her unwilling indirect customer. She stopped only after we took the chocolate from her. And ran back gleefully shouting that the didi took it. So much happiness.

I'm not getting around to clicking enough pictures, not as much as I want to. Or expect myself too. And writing too. But I think this much will be enough to while away the time being happy with myself for getting something out of my system onto the keyboard and seeing it on the screen. Bliss.

Such picturesqueness. Such inspiration lies in the narrow lanes and the branded stores and the old houses of Delhi 7. The streets, the sounds, the sights. Loving it.

More to come. Very soon. The College. And The People :)