The Happy Balcony

My dad’s apartment balcony appeals to me immensely. It makes me feel alive…

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My dad has recently bought an apartment at the same town where I have been living with my in laws after marriage. The apartment is one of 40 other apartments in the same building which are gradually being occupied by families who, like my dad, had booked them during their construction. Dad’s apartment is unlike all the 39 other apartments in the eight-storey building. It has a large magnificent balcony that resembles a terrace in many ways. Overlooking the balcony is a splendid view of the mighty river Brahmaputra though it is pretty distant from where the building stands.

A panoramic view of the river, a distinct white patch of water, with the spectacular Patkai hills serving as a backdrop, is a breathtaking experience. The living room opens out to the balcony and through the tall sliding glass doors (I prefer calling them French windows except that they are sliding), you can enjoy the view of the majestic dark grey hills and the river softly flowing by. We, in the remotest corner of upper Assam are blessed with frequent showers of rain that pour down in myriad forms – sometimes a slanting torrential shower hitting at the ‘French window’ panes, while at other times, a drizzle enveloping the scenery with white.

At times, rain clouds drifting by, give wings to your thoughts and make your heart flutter. Chunks of them that bear a striking resemblance to gigantic cotton balls gradually take on a greyish hue as more droplets of water accumulate for a brief spell. And sitting by the ‘French windows’, all a writer would need is a pen and a diary or a laptop in these times while a canvas and some colours suffice for an artist. A singer would easily do with a Tambura and soon you would hear them croon some melodious tunes while the supporting chords produced by plucking the strings of the accompanying Tambura would gently mingle with the breeze and be carried aloft afar. A leisurely walk along the balcony offers an amazing experience. I adore this apartment for its unusually large balcony. It seems to set the mood for any occasion and give food for thought. Being a writer, I enjoy every waking moment in this house.

And now, while I am struggling to quicken the keystrokes on my laptop writing pad, I can already hear a subdued thunder signaling the arrival of forthcoming rain. It will shower in a little while as the clouds hovering above beckon me to hasten. I shall run out to the balcony and let the rain drops drench me completely. I call this love…

The 10-rupee Note!

Ordinary life is a life barely lived. Because, a life without unexpected turns and twists and the subsequent ability to maneuver through, is not worthwhile. Most people simply accept the way things are and move on, not bothering to ponder awhile about these seemingly ‘ordinary’ things that come their way. They simply ignore them, thus failing in the potentiality to transform the ‘ordinary’ into an extraordinary something.

One such ‘ordinary’ thing that came our way, was a simple 10-rupee note. Read on if you are an animal lover.

One summer evening, while having tea, my father was counting some smaller denomination notes, precisely; 10-rupee notes and keeping them separately as change for emergencies, since in our present times, change-notes are hard to produce. I was reading a book and occasionally throwing cursory glances at the soiled notes father was so busily arranging, when all of a sudden, my eyes fell upon one particular 10-rupee note which seemed to have something written on it. Father also noticed it. The writing on the note seemed curiously small.  Father singled out the note and started to read it. Quite surprisingly, this was written on it:

I am totally heartbroken as my sweet cat Poali died in a road accident on February 23, 2016 between 11:25-11:40 pm.  My life is in serious jeopardy. I don’t know how I shall live without Poali since she was very close to my heart. Life is difficult without my cat, Poali.

We were dumbfounded and sat staring at it while the note fluttered in the wind. Father couldn’t seem to recall where and when he had received the note.  I read and re-read the note, flipped it over to check if the writer had jotted down anything else, but couldn’t find any. We assumed that it must have been a girl who was devastated by the sudden death of her beloved pet cat. Continue reading “The 10-rupee Note!”