Posted in Journal

The Best Sunrise

I suppose Dil Chaahta Hai (The Heart Desires) will always remain the quintessential Indian film on friendship, at least for us millenials who grew up with its music ringing in our ears. Every time I get together with friends, the title song makes a quiet run at the back of my mind –

Dil chaahta hai, hum na rahein kabhi yaaron ke bin

“The heart desires that we should never be without friends

S asked me once which my favourite sunrise was till date. I remember trying to imagine a picturesque scene by a beach or on a mountain top, watching the sun come up on the horizon, and failing to come up with an answer. I’ve never been a morning person, and could hardly recollect a pristine sunrise caught in the film of my mind.

If he asked me again today, I’d finally have an answer. The dawn of September 19th, 2021. I wasn’t at a beach, or atop a mountain. I sat with my feet dangling from a poolside, feeling the cool water rippling around my ankle. SE sat next to me, and SM diagonally across. We could hear birdsong in the background, as the sky lightened subtly. It had been a wild night – lying under the stars with our tongues let loose by too much alcohol and rambling on for hours about work, relationships, happiness, the present, the future and everything in between. I couldn’t remember the last time I had spent a whole night awake. As dawn broke and a rooster crowed, I revelled at how still the world was around me, how calm the world was within me. I belonged here. I was present there with all my heart, enveloped by quiet ripples of happiness.

This was where I wanted to be, always. On a terrace, by a pool, at the beach, on a mountain top, in a car… the place doesn’t matter, as long as my people are around me, every time I pass through darkness into the light.

Posted in Anecdotes

Coffee At Home

MB visited our new house for the first time yesterday after I moved in last week. By our new house, I mean the place we have rented recently. And by moved in, I mean shifted all our things into. I continue to spend the nights with him at his hostel as his shifts continue to be erratic and it’s near-impossible to drive down to the new place even though it’s less than twenty minutes away. But it’s closer to my workplace, so I can come home for lunch and hang out here till late in the evening, and probably even make dinner before heading to the hostel for the night.

There were no urgent calls from the Intensive Care Unit, so I suggested we go for a small ride, and maybe have coffee at the new house. I expected him to say no as usual, but he agreed. We grabbed coffee and bonda from a restaurant on the way, and I put two chairs out onto our terrace-balcony. It’s my favourite part in the whole house. There was a cool breeze, and we watched trees swaying around us. I pointed out a squirrel to him on a coconut tree across the road; its tail kept twitching in rhythm with every shrill squeak. We sat in silence, sipping the coffee.

He searched for an old book in the shelf I had decked with our collection; the other place had hardly any space and all the books had still been in the boxes that came from Pondicherry an year ago, till I finally let them out now. He picked one and went back to the terrace, reading. I bent down to put my chin against the top of his head, my arms loosely across the chest. I pressed my cheek to his and smiled as he absentmindedly kneaded my arm as he read. The world seemed to shrink within the terrace parapet – all that existed were the breeze, the quiet, the neem leaves, the squirrels, and us.

Ten, perhaps fifteen minutes, and it was time to leave for his evening ward rounds. A quick kiss on his cheek and I got up to clear the cups and lock up.

I suppose perfect evenings look a little different out here. Sometimes all it takes to create one is two cups of coffee and a home.