Tuesday, February 10, 2009


February is a wonderful month. That wonderful space between winter and spring when dawns are still subtle and the world seems half awake. I can feel the sense of expectation in the air. Any moment now she would awaken, open her half sleepy eyes and suddenly the ground around me would bloom into a myriad colours. Never before would a single tree sport these many shades of green. Like me, the birds will be joyous and sing their happiness.

I love these mornings. When you can look up at the half lit sky and breathe deeply seeing the sun emerge and a dull orange moon disappear in the distance. I marvel at the birds that flit past quickly yet silently, so mindful of our sleep. Today I will finally wrap up the quilts and store them away with enough naphthalene to last till December

This month makes me nostalgic. I remember sitting in the balcony of my Delhi home staring at the once barren trees suddenly come alive and shimmer in a lovely green. I would watch the fresh velvety leaves for hours. To me, this was a sign that the summer holidays were not far away. Even today, when I feel this sense of lightness in the air, when the morning rays gently part the curtains and I wake up to the pleasant whirring of the ceiling fan that did its job so dutifully through the night, I so badly want to be 10 yr old again. For a brief second, I feel like packing and setting off to hot and sultry Chennai where I spent 2 months of glorious summer vacations every year of my childhood.

Mud pies and hop skotch, the smell of curry leaves and mustard being poured on raw green mangoes as jars of pickles got made, hiding behind coconut and chiku trees, staring at chameleons that would sit at the window sill and change colour, helping the maid wash clothes near the well. I now realise how close to nature we were then.

Today I stand in my apartment window, perched high above the birds and trees on the 9th floor. I peer down at trees that look tiny and envy that solitary morning walker. I am thankful for the one pigeon that chooses to sit in my balcony if only for a fleeting second. I feel the same happiness, the sense of heady excitement and freedom - the kind you feel on the last day of your final school exam. I don’t have summer holidays anymore, no end-of-exams to look forward to, no more grandma’s home to go to and yet…


  1. and yet life seems to be galloping...

    you cudnt have got a quicker response than this...very beauifully written and reminded me of my childhood..10yrs precisely..when every summer holiday i would be in Pallakkad at my grandmothers house listening to akashwavani,eating mangoes and running thru the pristine fields..uhmm..:-}

  2. bindu...I know what you mean!! I want my grandma back too!

  3. Very well written.....felt sad ,touched my heart.
    What to do ....life goes on.

  4. I lost my grandma early on. But my mom's eldest sister ...chechiamma was like my grandma to me and her two daughters my sisters. Everything was shared and I was so part of the family...all the houses they lived in all over Coimbatore, I remember very well. I remember actually rolling on their lawn from one end to another. It was a time of endless daydreams and time spent just watching,participating in every little thing. Even in my tharavad house, I have fond memories of the 'kolam' tho I never learnt to swim and my aunt bringing us kanji to the kolam. It was the tastiest meal I had ever eaten. And Nandini, I remember having strong connections with maids. I was always hanging around them! Somehow as children, one never sees the work as drudgery but as something exciting. Watching her wash clothes, helping to put away the plates. I used to fight with my mom to help wash the dishes!!!!Everything was exciting!

  5. thats beautiful, rads! I loved helping out in the kitchen too. I remember as teenagers, my cousin and I would take on the task of making the chapattis for dinner during the vacations. And beleive me in that chennai heat, rolling out dough in shapes all but circular we would have rivers of sweat run down our necks. Still we would enjoy it and wait with excitement for our grandparents to sit at the table and dutifully praise our efforts!

  6. and yet... somehow, life goes on... :D

    As beautiful as ever!! :)

    see you when I see you... :)

  7. I love reading your stuff...it uplifts... :D

  8. wow....you should think of writing a book some day...seriously...wow...