I am not ashamed to admit that I am a lazy person! Especially when it comes to waking up in the mornings, I hate it as much as a bat would hate a morning stroll. But not everything in life comes as we want it, so it is by the trick of fate or a game of destiny I have a maid who comes at 5:30 am. Worse, my daughter’s school bus would insist on a 6:15 am arrival. The result? A groggy eyed me fiercely pressing my husband’s sleepy eyes at 4:45 am in the morning, mistaking it to be the alarm button. He would wake up murderously thinking a Taliban gauging out his eye balls and I would end up apologizing profusely.
But as time passed by I got used to the mornings. Infact I began to enjoy those moments. The quietness of the yet-to-be dawn mystically put to hold by the early morning Azaan. A lone cyclist pedaling his way to work for a morning shift, insisting on ringing his bell constantly. The night watchman winding up his duty for the day.
The just-crack of dawn – a small, single twit of a bird followed by another and then another and another….till it would be a cacophony of a thousand twitters.
In that profound quietness little ‘perfumes’ of morning would tickle past – the smell of fresh toast, fresh dew, blossomed flowers, wet doors….
When we were small, for many years we used to stay in Bangalore. But come holidays and we used to pack off our bags for Calcutta. The train would arrive at the wee morning hours. And then it was a long ride from station to home. As the yellow Taxi used to serpent along the roads of Calcutta, my brother and I used to pop our heads out to savour the mornings of Calcutta. And what an eclectic collage that would be! Serpentine grey smoke emanating from coal-ovens of the tea-stall owners; horses getting their morning practice run near the race-course; would-be Maradonas balancing their footballs in the lush green Maidan; small disputes at the water-tap; smell of freshly fried Kachoris ; crow conferences on electric wires….. We used to particularly enjoy the plight of the reluctant school-goers – reveling in the fact that we did not have to suffer the same fate. And then there was a ‘pink-man’ at every nook and corner : a bathing man laden with pink lather from head to toe . Courtesy: A fiercely red ‘Lifebuoy’ soap!
As our Taxi would enter our neighbourhood our hearts would pound faster….smiling faces waving at us, old friends running behind our Taxi, containers of tamarind sweets beckoning at us from familiar shop counters….
And then my grandmother, just mid-way to our home…adjusting her specs to be double sure if it was really us! She would finally be convinced when our Taxi would screech to a halt next to her.
“ Here they come, here they come”, she would scream in delight; prompting my grandfather to rush to the big picture of Jesus in the front room. “Praise the Lord”, he would whisper quietly.
By then cousins, neighbours, other grand-parents would huddle around, welcoming us home. Aroma of fresh smell of home-made tea would tell us we are finally back home!
My mornings now are so very different. Only a few moments of solitude and after that it is rush hour! I have no where to go, no where to return from. No grandma would be waiting near the gate.
“Good Morning baby!”, I whisper as I try to wake up my sleeping child.
The clock winks back. Ready, steady……
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