Reposting since am without electricity at my house again…
I returned home to darkness. They had disconnected power supply to my house because I had not paid the bill.
Growing up, I lived in a city where power cuts were the norm. We had different forms of battery back up, which were crucial for some respite, but eventually they would all die down.
I have survived in darkness. I have enjoyed watching the faint flicker of candlelight. Not because I was having a romantic dinner, but because that was the only source of light. Reading in the diffused glow, I have strained my eyes to complete the last pages of a chapter.
I have been irritated by moths flying into the flames at the mouth of the kerosene lamp. I have burnt my hand by placing it carelessly on the hot glass exterior of the lamp. I have complained and been ignored or fretted upon, as was the mood of the evening. The blisters on my fingers have long since vanished.
On hot sultry evenings, I have lain supine outside. My grandfather with his newspaper folded as a fan. My grandmother with a hand fan made of sweet smelling sandalwood. The moonlight played hide and seek with the wisps of silvery clouds. The gentle breeze brought a welcome break to the monotony of heat.
I have swatted off mosquitoes who have had their share of feasts on the blood in my veins. Learnt not to scratch when it itches bad. I have stared at stars and woven stories of lands that lay far.
I have missed my favourite movies being aired on TV, while in darkness, I sang tuneless songs till my voice was hoarse. The music continued to reverberate long into the late hours. It echoed inside and all around. And when no one was looking I would furtively dance to this ethereal surround sound.
I have rested on the cool concrete steps outside and heard the frogs croak. I have seen the black cat cross my way without bringing bad luck.
I bore the nagging chirp of the crickets. The sudden swish of the bats flying out of the eucalyptus tree in front of my house, across the road. I have dodged the chiaroscuro of the dimmed street light. I have gotten lost in the shadows of the shrubs and the distant hum of traffic.
I have revelled in a single firefly. I have wished upon that elusive shooting star. I have heard senseless stories; drowsy with sleep, on plain white cotton sheets. I have giggled till my sides hurt and objected on all improbable heroics. Demanded happy endings and gotten confused with sequels.
On cold frosty winter evenings, I have sat bored near a bonfire. I have had corn roasted in the fire. Snuggled into my mother’s warm shawl. I have prodded my snoring father.
I have missed clandestine phone calls on the landline as I huddled out of doors. I have dozed to the stillness of the night. I have smelt the roses in my garden. Who needed light?
Then, how come in the darkness I had nothing to do this time? Why have I forgotten that roses, even at night, without the lights, smell just as nice?