5 November 1999. Swinging to dusk.
It’s twenty-eight minutes past five. I am sitting on the
jhoola in the terrace. Love Papa for it. It’s one of the
most wonderful gifts he has given me. The sky has
burst into whorls of dappled crimson. Clouds of gold
have scattered across that end in the west where the
sun’s pouring more colours – tangerine, rust and pink.
It’s preparing to set in some minutes, fl ashing a brilliant
finale, sprinkling vermillion all over the endless expanse.
Is there a wedding in the skies tonight?
8 November 1999. Ten minutes of lemon tea after sunset.
Have been sweeping my nerves; red arteries moulded in
fi re and blue veins borrowed from the sea. I am quite a
chimneysweeper when it comes to clearing the recesses
of my mind. So, while sweeping this afternoon, I often
stopped short. I found couplets of your incomplete verses;
a drop of your tear from when you were sozzled on your
last birthday; a sketchy picture of our imaginary house
with a big terrace overlooking a river; the assuaging four
o’clock sunlight we played with every afternoon; my
favourite Egyptian strappy sandals, which you broke by
forever stamping on them; those often quiet, sometimes
peopled roads we walked on like apparitions looking at
the moon and counting how far away Poornima, the full
moon, was… And your routine question at that: ‘Who
is Poornima?’… And our silly, routine laughter that
followed. Also, that ‘Hello!’ on the phone at three in the
night that would echo through my being.
26 November 1999. An autumn afternoon oblivious of time.
By the unruly clock in my mind, I dream. Images,
pictures, voices, shadows, people, stars, history, they all
fall like semul flowers from the blazing red trees to the
earth. And I sleep on the bed of flowers, thinking and
living spring, in grey autumn.
Has the world fallen from that old branch, which
shivers in the sad, supple breeze? Has the last flower