I open the front door and smile . Into the living room, a door on the left leads off to the kitchen while the evening from the balcony seeps in, soft and easy. I hesitate to walk in, lest I should disturb the tranquility of this space with my relief.
I shut the door gently behind me, drop my bag on the dining table in the corner, my shoes on the stand next to it, and go into the kitchen. Soon enough, the brisk smell of lemon tea and a cigarette fills the house. I put on Fields of Gold and make my way to the balcony to watch the city, spread out beneath me, going about its business. There is nothing here except the enormity of the twilight and I. Comfortable in our silence, old bedfellows are we.
Almost instantly, my arrogance is shattered by a small movement in the far corner of my eye. I look leftward to watch a bat glide with grievous beauty into the deepening evening. Presumably it was in search of food or some company. Or perhaps, both. It is an envious, gentle smile that curves my mouth.
I turn around to flip the switch for the uplighter in the balcony. A whisper of yellow floods the room, lighting up its corners and lines. A couch, a mattress clothed in earth tones lives on the left (or the right, depending from where you see it). It serves double duty when a friend stays over.
Two overstuffed pillows sit companionably across the wicker table that separates them from the mattress. A charpai stool resides between the pillows. Under the glass top, an exquisite pillowcase is a red-toned patchwork of mirrors. It is a reminder of the endless frustration I endured while picking it out with him. It is also a reminder of the delight, of the joy we share.
I look towards the frames on the wall - a favourite etching from a friend, jigsaws put together while studying for a GRE long ago, some Van Gogh (my aspiration to high art) - and then sweep towards the bookshelf that stands faithful, a little ahead of the couch. The book I bought yesterday crooks a seductive finger which I resolutely ignore.
The colours of my home wash over me, soothing, comforting, on my way back to the kitchen to start dinner.
My kitchen. The greens and yellows of this one of my favourite places welcome me and my evening reverie. Soup, chicken, sauteed vegetables and bread, I decide, will make up this evening's fare. Within minutes, the aroma and sounds of dinner fill the spaces in the house. A few minutes later, I turn off the stove to go into the bedroom.
The table lamp I switch on provides a subtle yellow light as I pick my way through the debris. The bed against the far wall bears loud witness to the fact that we were late for work this morning. I spend ten minutes picking up towels and toiletries carelessly cast aside, shutting wadrobe doors and going through the motions of restoring order. The books on the bedside table are unsurprisingly unaffected. I spend another five minutes preparingto wash the day off me.
In twenty minutes, I emerge from the bathroom, feeling mellow and refreshed. I have a message on my cellphone. Reading it, I move back out into the living room. Fields of Gold is still playing as I begin to the set the table for dinner.
I have been waiting barely five minutes when the doorbell rings. I open the front door and smile.