Monday, April 04, 2011

A Sunday Evening

I had decided to spend the Sunday evening at home. The month long cricket world cup had ended the day before with India lifting the cup after 28 years. I, generally, do not watch TV unless for news and sports. I figured out that there was no better way to spend the evening than watching a movie on my laptop.
The windows of my room were closed to keep the mosquitoes out. Earlier in the afternoon I was strolling on the roof of our two-storied twenty two year old house. The setting sun seemed like a sphere of orange jelly resembling the replicas displayed in the science museums to illustrate our solar system. The air was cool and blowing gently. The roof is my most preferred place in the whole of our house. Standing there I can survey the colorful buildings that have come up in our neighborhood in the last few years. Our house is among the oldest in the locality. As families became more fragmented and the members wanted an abode of their own, the city expanded and spilled into the outskirts.

Another view which often pulls me to the roof is the highway which appears like a chord of the great circle formed by the horizon. The highway is always full of speeding cars and trucks crisscrossing the field of view with astonishing speed. In the days of my childhood when any kids paid a visit to our house, we played a peculiar game with the passing vehicles. I would choose a direction, the other kid the opposite direction. We would count the number of vehicles coming from our chosen directions. At the end of the game, the one who had maximum vehicle count would win!

I settled on the movie, ‘The Fighter’, directed by David Russell. This movie is based on the true story of two boxer brothers. Soon I was engrossed in it only to be interrupted by my mother when she served me tea. When the movie was over, I came out of the room to find that it was raining outside and the breeze had become even cooler. At this time of the year we have Nor'westers - storms coming from the north-west direction bringing black cumulonimbus clouds which cause rain and sometimes damage to the areas on its path.

I glanced upon the day’s newspaper lying unopened. I decided to browse through it before dinner. I have a habit of noting things down whenever I come across something interesting – things like name of a new book, any scientific findings etc. Sometimes I make the note on my mobile, on small pieces of paper, and if I am reading something on my computer I note it in a text file. I read a nice article in the Sunday Times. I thought of scribbling few points in a diary this time, instead of on a piece of paper. I told myself that I would maintain it thenceforth for such purposes. So I reached for the shelves to look for a virgin diary. But while rummaging through the rows of books, I happened to put my hand on some of my old diaries. I always wanted to keep separate things separate - different diaries for different things. As a result most of my diaries would have something written only on the initial few pages, rest remaining unused.

The dates mentioned in one of them were that of the year 2001, ten years ago. It contained study routines – “10.30 am to 12 noon: Digital Signal Processing, 3.00 PM to 5 PM: Data Structure” etc. It was from my engineering college days and probably I made this routine just before a semester exam! Another was a few years older, from 1999, to be precise. It meant I was then a student of class XI. This diary contained lot of snippets about astronomy - the subject of my hobby, small notes about scientific discoveries of that time, few lines about contemporary events copied from newspapers and magazines etc. The pages have turned reddish, but the handwritten words were as fresh as if they had been penned just yesterday.  I read through most of them, and as I read, a happy and thrilling sensation ran through my spine. I pulled out all my diaries one by one – diaries which contained my confessions and confusions, diaries that revealed my past. I felt the pages and read the words. The days of a decade ago came flashing back in front me. As I was relishing my forgotten past, my mother called me for dinner. I walked down the stairs to the dining place. I noticed that the rain had stopped.

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