It’s as cold as Ahmedabad gets. A regular winter almost-morning, un-slept through the night, not because I had to, but because it’s this odd hour that inspires me in strange ways you know. I mean, toasted pink shades filling the air and all that (I had to pitch that because this is the only time of the year our skies have any colour at all). The out-of-tune singing-along by intoxicated somebodies lying around after the night’s party. Some all-night conversation leftovers at the jute benches by the basketball court. Of course, the instigating and ever-invigorating, chai. There’s no time of the day that could ever define your intake of this life-giving elixir, you know. There’s no substitute, whatsoever, to its sidekick, the five a.m. maska bun – your own custom-made dawn meal. My unbeatable regular, chocolate- and peanut butter-oozing sandwich, well-butchered into four equal parts in the softest of buns (or so it seems when cravings are relieved) by one of the most dexterous hands I’ve seen – probably waiting for me right now, as I write this.
I am in an attempt to contemplate and recollect, like every time, how the past few hours swept by. There was some indiscreet blabbering, something about unseen somebodies’ stories, mythologies, music blogs, and train journeys. I recall table-sketching masterpieces at the night mess as evidence of nonsensical two a.m. conversations followed by some early good nights and other loud nothings. A walk below the sleeping pigeons. Some plans and other pondering. The tempting smoke of freshly-lit cigarettes on cold winter dawns. Not just quite sleepy yet. not quite awake either. Still, hours to go before I am awake again. I come to conclude that it’s these unaccounted for time-gaps, these in-between days, that really keep me alive for yet another. Such are the ways of nature which I need to succumb to, without much choice, to shake away my blur of night from day. It’s these things, you know, sleeping, shitting, eating, that really makes us human isn’t it? I mean, come what may, we must, for at least a while, pave our way into the other world, of reveries and surreal happenings. Anyhow, it’s clearly past the hour that I’m going to make any sense anymore, so till I am awake again, let me clutch my warm blanket while pigeons, peacocks and early sun rays try hard to steal these few hours of sleep away from me.
Photograph by Shivani Singh