All those shiny houses
I missed the side road. Moved ahead. Half a mile. Then saw the Lakhe mosque and I knew. . .
Put the car on reverse.
God, this place had overgrown. People, shops. The side road was almost invisible.
There was some village fair or something. They were going towards the Canary hill. I honked for sometime. Then stopped. No use.
Lost interest for the hill.
After awhile I saw the yellow house. Granny's place. She was not there. I stopped the car. Went out.
Pushed the doorbell twice. Auntie opened the door. She was surprised.
We went in.
She's grown into a thin old sad woman.
I sat on a chair. This used to be grandpa's bed room. They've made it a dining space now. Grandpa died in 1985. There were the same photos on the wall.
Photos from my childhood.
Four paintings on the four corners of the wall - 'Four Seasons'.
My mom, smiling from a photo on the eastern wall.
Grandpa on the northern one.
Photos of others. Gods. Goddesses.
She brought tea and biscuits. Asked about us. All well I said. Then she started about her health, uncle's health, Vicky's progress in school.
Rising prices. . .
I asked her if I can go to the backyard.
The eucalyptus was still there.
And the mango tree. Nothing much. They've stopped working on their 'vegetable garden'.
No more home grown tomatoes and cabbages and potatoes and beans.
I took out my pack.
Lit up one.
There were houses on all those empty spaces around.
Nothing much left of those empty paddy fields.
We used to go their during rains.
To watch those tiny fishes, in the small brook that went through those fields.
No brook. Nothing.
Only shining houses.
The Canary hill was barely visible through them.
A breeze came down and went past me. . .