Tag Archives: summer

Remembering childhood

Summer afternoons have this amazing quality of transporting me back to my childhood. A magical, magical place! Of course, I was not aware how magical it was at that time. It is in retrospect that the present looks magical.

I think the best part of the afternoons was between five thirty and seven. The sun would have set by then. If we were lucky, the trees would start to wave and blow some wind. My brother and his gang of players would be playing cricket on the green slice of field in the middle of the neighborhood. Sometimes these balls would end up hitting the tin roof or the wooden windows of an annoyed neighbor and he’d be rushing out of the house with angry eyes, asking, “Who has the audacity to hit the ball on my roof again? Today, if I don’t stop this game of yours, my name is not So-and-so!”

When there would be no right answer from the boys’ gang, rather loud pleas for the ball to be returned, he’d just fetch the ball from the courtyard and scream that the boys could wave the ball goodbye. They could go buy another. Better yet, they should stop playing altogether.

Some of these neighbors now have kids and grand kids of the same age as my brother was then. I am not there to see how the cricket games are unfolding these days, but I am sure the scenario wouldn’t have changed much. It would just be fresh set of annoyed neighbors, and another bunch of enthusiastic kids. That’s probably one thing that is still unchanged about my hometown, the fields are still played in.

I was never a part of these games, rather a spectator from a distance, from my balcony. Or sometimes, after I got my bicycle, I would be circling the neighborhood, with the air flowing through my shoulder length hair, watching the kids play, tasting my own kind of freedom.

There were days when there were storms, when the kids would be forced indoors. At the onset of the storm, the dry dust would rise up, almost choking us and blocking view. With the dust rose stray plastics that were strewn all over the neighborhood. On those days, my brother and I sang our hearts out, as we watched from the balcony the trees bend with the vigor of wind and rain. The air smelled so sweet, sweet from the smell of mangoes and the smell of moist Earth. Throughout the storm, my mother would be shouting to close the balcony door and get indoors, because the water would come inside. But who would want to pay any heed to her? Besides, closing the doors meant pitch darkness inside, because the storm always meant no power, and a solid hotness inside the house.

Where I live today I don’t have a balcony to sit and enjoy the rains. Today, there are thousands of miles between that balcony and me, but in that space, the heart is still the same age as in those summer afternoons. A bunch of simple children who wanted to do everything but study, a bunch of parents whose simple aim was to get the children to study and do well in life. I am sure most of us are doing well in the expected sense of the word. But somewhere, we are still stuck in those afternoons, refusing to accept that we grew up.

 

Welcome to a great summer morning!

Good morning, guys!

It’s a beautiful morning out here in Bangalore today. I am not sure if it rained last night – If it did, I slept through it. When I woke up in the morning, there was a chill in the air. There’s warm sunshine outside my window, and I can see the tree moving softly with a light breeze.

I have not been sleeping well for several weeks. Fortunately for me, I slept for two hours in the evening yesterday (post which I got up, made dinner, ate and cleaned the dishes) and then straight seven hours till this morning. Right now, I am well rested and very calm.

The weather outside just feels like an extension of what I feel inside – this happens only sometimes.

I love Bangalore on these days, even though I feel greatly nostalgic about Bengal in summer. Summers in Bengal have a unique flavor. Most days the sky will fill up with dirty grey clouds. They would bring, in their wake, gusty winds that would raise dust storms and bend the great trees over, sometimes even uprooting them. Then there would be the rains. The big drops lashing on the buildings, the trees, the grounds – creating puddles. The raindrops falling on tin ceilings and creating a great noise. The ambient music goes a notch higher as lightning adds its own beats.

Post the storm, there are the fallen leaves on the ground and mangoes that couldn’t survive the storm. We lived in the first floor throughout and don’t have the luxury of  owning mango trees in the courtyard. So, the mangoes that I am talking about belonged to those lucky neighbors who had the trees, and occasionally we had the chance of finding one lying on the ground after the storm. Sometimes, some of these kind-hearted neighbors would also come with a basket of the mangoes themselves, as gifts.

Summers in Bengal are beautiful! Even this morning, as I was speaking to my mother on the phone, I could hear a cuckoo singing. That one sound has the capacity to take me home, make me imagine how the trees are looking right now, how the roads are, the kids playing cricket on the ground, the soft colors of the afternoons after the sun has just taken leave for the day.

To be in sync with nature is perhaps the most beautiful thing in the world. I can imagine only one thing that can beat it. A good night’s sleep after you have had a tiring day and have not been able to sleep well in several weeks.

How’s the summer shaping up in your part of the world? Do let me know in the Comments section!

Love and peace,

Arpita

It is 11.47 PM in the night as I start to type this. I have just finished writing 1,634 words in a Word Document that is titled BookNovel Idea. The idea was for it to be named Book/Novel idea, though, but I typed it out as previously mentioned.

So, I came home today from office full of bubbling thoughts. Recently there have been a lot of good things happening at the workplace (which I feel I must write about in Bangalore Diaries), and naturally, I left the workplace in a happy mood today. On the walk back home, I read this quote, ‘Life is drama man is actor’ in an Ola cab, of all things!

The weather here in Bangalore is pleasant. The spring air is heady with the scent of new mango panicles.

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Mango Panicles, Image Courtesy

That one smell takes me back to West Bengal again. It makes me remember the Kalbaisakhis, the summer storms that we see in Bengal every April/May. I can imagine the devilish streams of rain hurling at the windows, wetting the books kept of the table by the window before you can even close it. I can imagine the howling of the wind, tugging and blowing at the clothes on the line on the terrace to be dried. I can imagine watching the trees bend at the great speed of the wind, the rainwater accumulating in our balcony at home. Reminds me so much of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s ‘Aam Aantir Bhepu’, the second segment of Pather Pachali, the book on which the movie Pather Pachali made by Satyajit Ray was based, which also won an Oscar. Times like these bring out the poet, the writer in me. Words form into sentences and rhymes on the fly. Spring is a magical season!

So, I wasn’t quite surprised when I crossed a thousand words in BookNovel Idea. As of now, the book is really an idea. Something that has been nagging at my head for quite sometime now, so I wanted to capture it before it fleeted away. Sometime between today and yesterday an idea came in my mind to have the book in two parts – each in complete contrast in terms of events, but similar in outcomes. The themes of the book are broadly relationships, the physical factor in relationships, adultery and choices.

But given the tenacity I have shown in previous attempts at novel-writing, I don’t know if this yet unnamed novel will ever see completion, but the idea is even if I can put the entire story-line of the novel in BookNovel Idea, then maybe I might get some writing done by the time I take part in my second NaNoWriMo.

What about you, dear reader? Are you a writer yourself? If yes, then so you find yourself writing more profusely in any given season? Share your thoughts below. It’d be lovely to hear from you!