Wednesday, September 07, 2005
A long time ago
Yes, it was a long time ago. I can barely remember. It was an afternoon. It must have been 3pm or 4pm. Sunlight kissed the balcony. It was warm but it felt so pleasant. I sat down on the floor – the floor felt so warm. I rested my back against the wall and felt a strong urge to go to sleep. A breeze brushed past me. The sunlight on my body felt comfortable.
There he stood, staring at the garden below. He wore a contemplative expression on his face. He was probably thinking about the rose bushes or the begonias. Or may be he was thinking about tax savings, or the morning’s trip to the fish market. He wore a loose-fitting cotton shirt, and you could make out his bony structure under his shirt. His back arched with age. He had his hands around his hips. This he did probably to balance himself, for age had made him unsteady on his legs. Age had also altered his features. He had a handsome face, but the furrows were deeper now and his nose stood up sharply while his eyes sunk deeper into his face. His hair was silver and that made him look majestic. Grandmother says he was extremely beautiful in his youth. She says I resemble him but she dare not call me beautiful.
He was usually silent and pensive. Of late he had begun to recount to me tales from his yesteryears. But that was usually in the evenings over a cup of tea. His memory was vivid and he had a way with words. When he spoke it seemed like a black and white movie being projected before me. Something about him was so classical, like the sculptures of Michaelangelo. Something about him was also so frozen in time. He kept abreast with current affairs for he read the newspaper in and out. But then the present was such a small part of him. May be that very moment while he stood at balcony, he was reflecting about the past.
He stood there with his head held high. His spirit soared over the house, the beautiful garden and the tall beetel nut trees that surrounded the precincts of our home.