There is something about October light. The way the skies are balmy and wind with a hint of chill. The way V’s of birds look like embers against the sky as the sun sets. The way every leaf falls with a crunching sound.
October here in hometown somehow holds that special aura around it. Autumn here is festive. And, always reminds me of my adopted home, where each day was festive, happening and on the edge.
“Sneh Kamal”, the digs we moved in as a post grad students and then never moved out, till suddenly out of no where, one not so fine morning, I got up, got dressed, went out for the day and never went back ever since, at least not to stay. I the home-maker (of this particular place) became the visitor!
SK, has been home to this group, for almost a decade now. With two rooms and a make-do kitchen and a tiny little balcony, this place has been a witness to many a celebrations, innumerable all-nighters, zillion heart breaks and some 100s of friendships, friendships which were more than families, friendships which let us tide over some real absolute crisis. It has been cement to some very strong and lasting relationships – named and unnamed.
This place holds you, ties you to itself! Its not the place that would make the covers of Good Housekeeping, it hardly even has a bed! But it’s the coziest and most comfortable dwellings you could perhaps come across. And, all the house mates ever and even the visiting friends, would swear by it!
Each room, each corner, each of the make-do objects, even the coffee mugs have a story to tell. Story of human bondages and heartaches. Story of pride and of arrogance. Of silliness and of acceptance of who you are. Of tiding over no-cash days and of partying on full-wallet nights. Of movies on a borrowed PCs and laptops and of sharing on “thumbs up” bottle amongst 7! Story of how, it was a host to 3 set of parents and relatives at one go and of how the one person staying alone got scared and went and slept with the watchman. Of popping champagnes and rowdy crowd. Of fist fights and tearful hugs. Of discovering rock music and n over books, of debates on cricket, soccer and politics, of redefining fashion and trashing someone else heroes and of conversions to the fan hood of same, the next day! Of love and hate and love again!
I look up to see a commercial jet sailing through the overcast sky; the duet of synthetic and organic thunder that chases after a lonely speck moving across a sky marked with clouds and then assortment of feathers looking for a safe haven, few crows, bunch of mynahs, few squirrels darting across the terrace and I think of all those people who were ever a part of the SK cult and every day I am stunned by this: that we are all here together … so isolated and so well knit.
All of us with ribs and drawers of dreams and latched container hearts, beating secretively even while we occupy our lives with other things: motors and binary code and wonder. A fly alights on skin exposed; a shoelace drags; a tongue traces the contours of lips, dry and hesitant before a kiss, or waiting outside the Operation Theatre to hear the news, or in the first moment after a promise has been made or broken; and things fall apart or are held: a seam, a paper flour sack, the strings belonging to a dozen helium balloons clutched in a child’s sticky hand, a heart, a life.
This is the story, lot of which remains untold … unsung…, of home which still holds my heart; home here I dropped a piece of my soul forever!