Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Alone in tranquility

Summer rain in Bangalore. After days of harsh sun and humidity, the clouds finally let go of their burden and as it always happens, when someone loses something, others gain it. True to this universal truth, people in Bangalore gladly looked skywards and felt the little drops from heaven light up their faces with a smile. Almost like a paintbrush moving across the scenery the trees and grasses were transformed from a dull tired brown to a verdant hue, alive from within. This continued through the evening and beyond, and finally stopped after dusk, leaving the weather fresh and the mind energetic.
I looked at my latest love; my new bike, shining black as the night, and decided to take it for a spin with my roommate Vinay. I could see his poetic mind reflected in the serene expression on his face as he was looking out from our balcony towards the changed atmosphere. So away we went, out of our regular haunts, to the less crowded inner streets in the residential areas of Kormangala. Both of us were looking out for the same thing; a nice little café nested in the small bylanes. We were sure a couple of such places existed in this area. Finally we found one, went in, ordered our coffees and sat down.
The ambience was tranquility itself. The time was 11 p.m. I was sitting in the café verandah, on a cane chair at a wooden table, surrounded by tall plants. The small lane was silent, empty save for a couple of bikes including mine. The soft yellow light of the street lamp glistened over the wet road surface and my bike. On either side of the lane were small bungalows, short and wide. Most were built of natural stone and wood, with big gardens in the front. The gardens were not manicured lawns, but rather natural grass and tall trees with colorful leaves and flowers. The light emanating from some of the windows bathed the trees, adding to the surreal atmosphere. As I was watching this scene I sipped Ethiopian Cappucino from my cup. All was silent, even I and Vinay were alone in our own thoughts. The combined effect of the rain, the beautiful locale and the coffee penetrated inside me and suddenly I felt a little apprehension. No fear or anything, yet something mildly unsettling amidst the tranquility. It was the feeling of opening an ornately carved treasure chest and finding it empty. It was then I realized what it was. My own thoughts were taking in the whole scene as if from outside my body, and they had made the mistake of trying to get inside me; the treasure chest.