Tuesday, August 2, 2011


It's been some months now that i have moved and yet the anguish of leaving the last station remains unabated.
What causes an ache every morn as i sit in my balcony is the view of concrete as the sight of lush green canopy having myriad hues of green that i was so accustomed to for the last so many years eludes me. In fact the color of the concrete peeping through the rich foliage would be quite a sight. Sigh!!
But as the adage goes count your blessings i chide my aching heart and try to focus on the sky, the pigeons, the trapeze routine of the parrots who call out every morn for applause perched on the cables running haphazardly between the adjoining blocks and wonder if these creatures are trying to get amused by me too. Some day perhaps they would feel secure enough and might as well sit on my toe instead. Sometimes the cries of the parrots make me look around for peacocks but of course i know parrots are excellent mimics.
i realize the futility of weeping a dirge over the some covered up and some open balcony all replete with air conditioners of all kinds, desert coolers and the not- currently- wanted but perhaps to- be- used later sundry items stacked desolately and NO PEOPLE.
Nobody seems to be wanting the balcony anymore for their morning newspaper with a cuppa what to talk of the twilight.
Maybe the open balcony with all it's simple pleasures is a luxury to be enjoyed by people like me who is abundant on her unhurried time and somewhat dwindled in her requirements so far as livable space and finances are concerned.

"You want to see people and greenery... why don't you walk to the park... it will do you good both health wise and otherwise !" is the nonchalant response that i get from my companion of a husband. Blessing myself at being a good homemaker i size up my companion sitting next to me in a grey tracksuit, comfortable but trendy walking shoes and no sweat. The nainon ke baan (shooting sharp arrows kind of look) sure is both loveless and harmless for a change rather this shot is quite an ego booster for the one on whom it is directed. 
He flips the newspaper neatly with his long limbs and is too occupied in sipping both the tea and the daily news to bother about THE LOOK and the SILENCE.
Silence!  works best when you know that your honesty would only elicit yet another animated lecture which would at best see you sulking due to a neat overdose.
i look at the red concrete ahead and watch with renewed vigor of someone attempting a touch down, the antics of the pigeons instead after the parrots have flown to another destination for yet another show, perhaps.
My six footer has no idea that the park instead of brightening my spirits dampens me and fills me with remorse. Suddenly all you can see is ardent Baba Ramdev fans practising the so many asanas or the freaks in good shoes and slim bodies bouncing away to yet another level of fitness glory. And as if this was not enough a whole big neat area would be usurped by the fanatic followers of the laughter club. It makes me sick with guilt and i return heavy with fake resolutions.
However i wonder if my protector and provider caught my drift.
Sigh !!

Once again i wish i could don that attitude that makes my husband happy and fulfilled to walk even if it was for ten minutes minus the weight loss agenda. None of the endless remarks and feverish efforts from all who are working at their paunches, girders, love handles... seem to affect him. He is content with all that is his. The paunch, the ten minute regime and the sight of the people less concrete.

WHY aren't people not strolling anymore? i know the answer but that helps but little to alleviate the longing which is much more than just greenery and people.
Can there be any solace in knowing that i am not the only woman alive having such longings and dreaming of a Ek  bangla baney nyaraa ( A unique dream cottage of your own) .

i sit in the same balcony with the panorama of sounds of a woken up world and a book.  i was barely into the second page when in a reverie of sorts i see myself walking.
No ordinary walk this. i seem to be trailing the author as he introduces me to Saxifrages, Auriculas and Sweet Williams...Privet hedges...
And as i  take this so much desired nature walk i don't seem to mind the absence of people rather am actually too pleased to loiter around in this, "Substantial and very decent" miners' dwelling with little front gardens.
i am seeing the like- a -child's -drawing- of- flower auriculas, saxifrages erupting into luxuriant blooms through the rocks, the various hues of sunny pinks in sweet williams, neat front windows, little porches, privet hedges and oh my God! DORMER WINDOWS!!..
                        photo of purple Saxifrage by aussie_cameraman


A low-growing plant of poor soils, bearing small white, yellow, or red flowers and forming rosettes of succulent leaves or hummocks of mossy leaves. Many are grown as alpines in rock gardens.  More »

Otherwise  bear's-ear and mountain cowslip because of their large leaves that resemble what the text says... a bear's ear and i think maybe a cow's lip.
Sweet Williams

Sweet William
Did not know that the Dianthus with a sweet and spicy clove like fragrance is also known as Sweet William. i distinctly remember the faint fragrance that reminded me sometimes of Carnation and other times of  Cantharidine hair oil.
Privet Hedge

Privet Hedge
Used extensively both for privacy and for green but live art forms called topiary i am not surprised when beauty in nature is dubbed as an invasive weed by some. So what if the pollen of this and others are known to cause asthma and eczema my effort will be to identify it by it's name when i come across a hedge with branched clusters of white fragrant flowers with " four curled back petals and two high stamens...". Other times i will look out for clusters of black bunch of  "mildly poisonous to humans " small berries.
Dormer Window

 Dormer Window 
" A window or windows that project outward from a roof. Dormers provide light and ventilation to attic spaces".

As of now i shall continue to take this walk along with Gertrude a.k.a Mrs Morel. This would keep me if not content like my husband but at rest for the time being as i discover more, both of the blessings that i am fortunate enough of having and of those that i yearn to have. 
Uff! the yearn list looks endless...a cottage with dormer windows...in the hills...deers, antelopes, birds, bees, flowers, trees...
How on God's earth did i come to the conclusion that i was dwindled in my requirements...?

i guess then a walk to the park later is not a bad idea after all. Maybe this time i'll focus on the hedge instead which i remember has small white curled up fragrant flowers.  i'll be happy to know if it is a Privet Hedge and even if it is not i would definitely want to know what it is...for it could be the tropical but Indian answer to the European semi- evergreen shrub called locally as Kamini. Endearing it is to know that  Kamini unlike Privet is evergreen. Also neither is it mildly poisonous nor found to aggravate any psychosomatic disease rather just like the so many Indian shrubs it has medicinal properties too.

i look forward then to this rendezvous with Kamini and indulge into the mild fragrance of the five or six not four curled up outwards white petals.
And i just have to hum the song that Sister Florence had taught us when something was not any different from what it is now. Even then dreams were endless...



  1. This reminds me of a Bengali novel, "Aparajit(a) Anand(a)" (Anand Not Out) :-)
    You have a very distinctive style of writing now.

  2. @Raja...Do i have a style??
    Thank u for not only being the first visitor today but also for being so prompt.
    It sure feels nice.
    Just wish u could explain the Bengali novel part if not wholly but partly at least ie if u have the inclination and the time.

  3. It strengthened my resolve,let's go to valley of flowers. I wanted to ask u yesterday.

  4. @Navita...Sure let's go before the resolve gets dissolved.
    Thank you so much...hugs :)

  5. everything fades away but not the bountiful nature around u .These beautiful flowers inspire us to move on.Thanks once again.

  6. @Gauri but of Course! nature...what else. And hey i need to thank you for finding the patience and the time.
    love and hugs :)

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  8. I read your blog- solace and it reminded me of my reactions when we moved to this flat in Chennai. After the big bunglows and beautiful gardens (I am very fond of gardening) this was not to my liking at first. My husband had his own reasons for moving in here (the place of his birth, his mother and brothers staying over here and so on).

    For me the view was the same concrete jungle mentioned by you and used to feel sad that I had to leave all my plants and pots elsewhere.

    There is one Neem tree and an Ashoka tree in our compound which have weathered all storms and still stand tall. They are my favourites now. The neem tree offers shelter to a lot of parrots, crows and nightingales. From the huge window of my study, I watch them. I watch the buses, cars and scooters plying on the road and the people in varied girth and gait walking past. I enjoy watching them all hurriedly rushing off to different destinations. It has now become my hobby to wonder about their life - some are rich, some poor- what sort of a life they lead, their family and so on. It fills up my time, waking up my imagination and this window seat is a very dear spot for me in my home.
    What I want to convey is that wherever we stay, after a time that place becomes dear to us. We start liking everything around it...Valsala Balakesari

  9. @Valsala Didi,
    Thank you not only for sharing but also caring enough to show me the bright side.
    It's a matter of time i guess and soon i shall feel this to be my home too.:)