This is the interesting paradox: because I wake up late these days my days are a little bleak, I always end up missing the warmth and light of the morning sun in my bones. It is a cold, cold winter; for the first time I understand what the expression “bitterly cold” means, and you would too if you have to come back home every night with a long autoride, dressed in only a flimsy pullover. This is also funny, for just how cold can a tropical winter be? Years and years we complained about it never being cold enough, and years and years we hung out in January in shorts and joke scarves and multicoloured socks and this winter just caught us unawares. I have a cupboardful of winterwear and day in and day out I’ve only been wearing the humongous jacket because the rest will just not withstand this cold. Or maybe I am cold. Inside. It’s been a weird, weird year. Unforgiving life lessons. I’m trying to think/believe they toughen you up in several ways, but the last thing they leave in their wake is warmth.

This week the days have gone brighter. On Saturday I was numb, on Sunday I was upset (again), I was really really unsure (and rather relucant) about Monday but Monday and Tuesday have been unexpectedly nice. On Thursday afternoon I was absolutely elated, there is fantastic work happening which I don’t think I’m allowed to write about or post pictures, although I have the pictures that I’m nearly dying to post! Last afternoon, late last afternoon, I was sitting and chatting with S at the step under the ledge and it occured to me this was exactly the place I wanted to be, right then, that perfectly happy (though transient, of course transient) moment of perfect bliss and zero longing. And then that other afternoon which I spent lounging in R’s room, and R was singing me a song he’d written and I was staring out of the window in the west and there was the sunset in my eye, sharp and blinding and more peaceful than I’ve been in a long time to remember. It occurs to me all my best memories are sun memories. Like the long winter morning/afternoons spent with R (another R, the one more written about in this blog) at the Dakshinapan steps, two years ago, and the things we talked about and the unreality of it and how both of us knew we were creating a bright, shiny bubble – a bauble – in the mostly bleak stream of memory, one that would keep glowing years later and fill our insides with warmth, but one that we would (we could) never return to. A thing of magic. R has been back in town this winter but we’ve barely spent time together, we have gone along different paths in life and have little in common any more, I know we will go farther and farther away but we will always think of that winter with fondness and a kind of naive, absurd idealisation that no degree of cynicism can touch. And because life is long and will change, and because we are stubborn and inconsolable, I keep collecting and loving these little baubles of memory that will – one hopes, one hopes – stand the test of tarnish and time. Everything else will go, but I’ll be there to wave them goodbye and I’ll smile.

6 thoughts on “64”

  1. Don’t even talk about memories! But beautifully written, I love winters though. Way more than summer, despite chilly auto rides =)

    1. I think I’ll eventually love this winter if it continues in this strain. This exact strain of the moment. If it swings back to the way I spent December, methinks I may not. :D

  2. This winter HAS been “bitterly cold” and the few jackets that I own, have always served me well in the past, but not this time :| I’m glad things are looking up as the days pass =)

    1. I’m glad too! But one never knows. Cynicism is a good thing to have. And warm jackets for the way back home.

  3. I don’t know which people you’ve mentioned here, but the writing is certainly nice.
    Yes, this winter did catch us quite by surprise, but it’s nice to know that Calcutta is capable of being cold, albeit once in a few years! :)

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