It had rained all night. All the windows were shut. Old wooden panes unevenly closed. The heady smell of the wet earth that was seeping in was divine. The sun was shining brightly outside. I sat on the old rocking chair contemplating to open all the windows.
As I was going to get up, I noticed a streak of sunlight escaping through the nearest window pane and landing lightly on my lap. Bountiful of messages, conversations and moments of my life, on good and bad days, landed with it. The streak expanded itself bit by bit, spread over me and rested on my face. I turned to see my reflection in the sparkling Belgian mirror and saw myself covered in a halo of warmth and positivity. It was a surreal moment. Sitting in an old house, with antique rosewood furniture, beautiful gardens, woods and fragrances, birds and small animals. And me glowing in sunlight in an otherwise shaded room.
Another world. I sat still as tears welled up in my eyes. This world asks for nothing, says nothing and lets me be. The pain diminishes as the entire environment engulfs me in positivity and peace. I am born to be a giver in the real world. It is here that my ‘give and take’ balance. As it is popularly believed that the famous poet Amir Khusrow (अमीर खुसरो) once wrote the lines ‘गर फिरदौस बर रुए ज़मीं अस्त, हमीं अस्तो, हमीं अस्तो, हमीं अस्त’ (If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here).
I have travelled far and wide, travelled distances. Stayed in the best of places, experimented in the wilds and tried to live my life on my own terms. Met people from all walks of life. But never could I find the peace and positivity that I find in simple places where nature is in its own element.
The sudden squawking of the parrot knocked me out of my daze. The maid tapped on the partially closed door and walked in to open all the windows. She had been here ever since I was born. I looked away, slowly went up to look outside at the sunbathed green fields and the women singing as they went about their chores. Even at 7 in the morning, the day was in full swing.
As I turned, the old lady looked at me and smiled, ‘where are you lost?’ ‘No, just felt the memories and dreams’, I said softly and stepped out of the room. I turned towards the river, my other favourite spot.
Another time, another place. One can only hold memories, dreams and emotions.
Time moves on, unrelenting. And as Margaret Mitchell states, ‘Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.’