It’s a pleasant monsoon evening in Bangalore. As I walk out to the open space in my housing society, I see my neighbour’s seven-year-old tiny son trying to throw a dimly faded blue broken lid of a container to his father on the first floor. Smiling at his childlike innocent perseverance, I lend my helping hand. In the 2nd attempt, the lid reaches its destination, I start to look for my destination for the evening. I feel a cold breeze and hear the leaves singing a song to me calling me to sit down on the stone bench on a lush green patch.
As I sit, I look at the dimly lit sky turning grey with clouds, some cold droplets of rain falling here and there and landing on the diary I was scribbling in. The weather is unbelievably pleasant, one of the finest anyone can experience, with the feeling of being on mountains. I sit in solitude and see the world go by. An old lady with her unusually older husband is walking towards me, discussing how life has changed in the times of the pandemic. Her mood seems as dull as her mustard dress with some bright pink coloured flowers breaking the monotony just like her husband’s cheerful demeanour. She looks at me scribbling in my brown leather diary in almost illegible handwriting, anticipating if my writing is worth reading or not and just passes by.
As the intensity of drizzle increases, I suddenly smell cardamom tea and some hot potato dumplings, stimulating my taste buds. I think it is the figment of my imagination but wait I suddenly see our neighbour sipping tea and indulging himself in a sinful monsoon delight.
I suddenly hear screeching noise of bicycles with loud thunderous chat. I see a group of 6 possible 12 years old set free after a day of online screen time. They are all of the different heights though, some as short as 4 feet while others as tall as 5.6″ wearing t-shirts as dull as cream and as bright as neon green. There is a different energy in their conversation as they talk about their evening plans for soccer and start walking towards the open space.
As I close my eye to feel the breeze, sound of mild cough startles me, and I see a woman in black burkha and hijab standing next to me. As I set my mask, I get to observe her face which seems to have marks of decades she has lived. Her mask was as bright as her golden bag with bright pink embroidered flowers and sequin all over. I suddenly see a little 3-year-old boy smilingly like a poster baby is driven on a tricycle by his mother possibly accompanied by his grandmother. As I write, I feel the drizzle is turning into a violent downpour washing away all that I am experiencing and writing into my diary smudging ink on the paper.
I think it’s a sign for me to go back and as I walk towards my apartment, I start humming Pharrell Williams song…
“Happy- Huh, because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof Because I’m happy”
Contributor: Sameer Arora
About our Writing Program Student
Sameer Arora, Vice Principal at Legacy School, Bangalore.
A natural leader, a collaborator and an educator with 18 years of school experience with 6 years of entrepreneurial experience, ranging from teaching across all levels of school i.e. upper primary, middle and senior secondary; integrating pedagogical innovations in curriculum, creating a favourable environment for the students and faculty members, fostering partnerships with educational organisations and community, administration, supervising staff and resource management.
He has travelled to over 20 countries. Other than starting travel-based startups for school children, he has also worked with National Geographic Channel as a Project Lead India for their school project Unlock Hour. He is presently serving as an honorary Chair for the Scholarship, Inclusion & Diversity Committee for IC3. Of all the projects he has carried out, SAANJH Amritsar- Lahore festival is the closest to his heart where he conceptualised and executed 7 chapters of this festival focussing on music, theatre and sustainable dialogue with youth in both countries, reaching out to more than 30,000 children, youth and artists across borders.