Afar

by ashwinia


My eyes twitched, waking me up. The ceiling and walls – plain and wooden – appeased my sober tastes and brought back my sense of awareness. I was still in my chamber of the train we were

Credits:Google

Something like this… (Credits:Google)

on; we were heading to London. The next morning we’d fly to India from Heathrow. I ran across to the window; outside was the loveliest sight I had ever seen. We were traveling along the coast. The blue outside was a blend of aqua and turquoise, even prettier than the shade of chlorinated water in swimming pools. The sand was a shade of ivory that complemented the blue so perfectly. The sea looked quite tranquil except for soft waves that were titillating the sand teasingly. I had to get a photo of the scenery; it was a shame I hadn’t clicked any through the trip. I hurried to my backpack….

My eyes opened and found me under a thick furry blanket, curled up in a small corner of the bed. I was still there, the same tasteful room, window facing a whole different world outside. I rushed to it another time cursing myself for having missed more. I found my camera lying on my bed. This time we were passing a village or a town. Green was the color of this picture. We crossed a statue, a huge one, the height of five floors of a building perhaps. It looked monolithic. It was a sculpture of a heavily ornamented woman, a goddess perhaps. I managed to click a quick picture that came out slanted, thanks to the train’s sudden ascent. My eyes threatened to close, I held the lids apart with my fingers. How could I want to sleep on such a day!

I woke up as I heard people around me. The train had stopped and people were getting off to visit a temple in proximity. I followed. The temple was old but it stood majestically. Either the plan of the interior was slightly disarrayed or the place had faced an amount of destruction – paths led to closing walls and quiet corners, pillars lay on the floor. There was some kind of varnish like substance all over and shards of glass. I inadvertently placed my palm on the top of a hedge and the varnish substance that adhered to it brought with it, tiny bits of glass trapped in the sticky sludge. The shards pricked as I tried to pull them out. I cursed the goo as I pulled it all out freeing my palm off the sting. The shrine had a small idol safe inside a proportionally small chamber. I was surprised to find hindi lettering over the entrance. I wondered how ancient this was; there was no guide to clarify.

My eyes opened. The walls were a pleasant pastel shade of peach, there were red curtains. I sat upright. The window-side of the room overlooked an array of villas in a gated community. It was 10 AM in Hyderabad.

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