The weather changed. Two days ago, having not stepped outside for a while, my weather was still chilly. I wore my light blue cashmere sweater that had seen a few hailstorms. It is old and only I know it is frayed; the label inside has threads hanging loose like they are being disowned. It has travelled far with me to lands that were never fixed addresses, but stop-overs.
I added a thick waistcoat over it. As I walked from where I was to where I was to be, I felt the heat creeping right through the wool into my skin. A patch of perspiration had formed in the armpits. I could do nothing. I had not worn layered clothing.
One should always do that. Then, when you have to discard something, it becomes easy. Take off one, then another, then one more…I wonder if the outermost garment ever wants to touch the skin, to feel the gooseflesh as cold winds blow.
The weather changed.
Yesterday I was out again. This time I wore the right clothes and felt cold because of the airconditioner. They offered me coffee.
I walked the same road I had the day before. Stalls were set up on the roads, things spilling out. As I was making my way through one such lot I saw a man aim his spit far, a red pichkari. Am not sure but I thought I felt a drop on my feet. I was angry. There were no stains.
Hawkers came up to you. I don’t want handkerchiefs. I don’t want trinkets. I don’t want someone to dangle things before me like they can lure me. One of the guys had this big transparent bottle in which there were coloured balls of gel. “Gel, gel,” he said.
“Le lo, achcha hai…(Take it, it’s good)” he persisted as I hastened my step.
“Kyon? (Why?)” I asked.
“Kamre mein daalne ka. Decoration mast hoga. (It is great decoration for the room)”
“Hum kaafi hai ghar ke decoration ke liye (I am enough to embellish my home),” I said and walked away before he could react.
I have been thinking about those transparent blue, pink, yellow gel balls all over the room, in bottles, bowls…they might shine in the light.
But, where is the light?