Childhood Memories

I find childhood memories nice little landscapes to lose yourself in.

Nostalgia makes everything nicer, all I have to do I curl my toes and remember what it feels like to crush dry brown leaves under my bear feet. The sky is unable to escape an everlasting sunset of a red, red sun. It’s color leaks into the sky drawing orange lines that made me it almost impossible for me to ever pay attention to the slow, white, orange stained clouds. I wondered where they wanted to migrate to. I thought it must be a very nice place if you could shift shapes and float by slower than the moss growth on the compound walls.

Some times I would sit on a piece of the broken wall that looked over the road and close my eyes while the hum of traffic seeped through the wall I sat on and made my bones tingle. None of them  of them could see us, the sole occupants of the hill. None of them took the road up the steep hill sides at the crossing at Nanthur. Most of Mangalores worst traffic jams happen by that circle that was just outside my view. I thought it was a strange contradiction. How easy it would have been for me to walk down the steep, poorly tarred road, at an angle so steep that I thought I was walking horizontally. I would have seen the the hill’s steep walls rise around me paying no attention to the tiny cut the road was on its mass, the weeds sticking out always threatening to brush against your face and the scampering black millipedes who were always so busy.

My concentration broke when somewhere some invisible man at some invisible mosque called out for evening prayers. I’d turn around and only see that church with the weird circles on it’s roof on another distant hill far away. Bangalore might as well have been another planet. There are no sunsets where you see the sun or hear invisible mosques and see strange church roofs.

If I have nothing else to do it’s easy for me to go back and remember walking by the trees during sunsets that never seemed to end. How did I always find the sunsets and the orange sky? I always seemed be out to witness them. It was like the monsoon never existed, like the TV or my cousins who lived at the far back of the hill on the only other house there never existed.

I walked barefoot on the sharp jagged stones. They were red like the sky. They never bothered me till I spent a few years away from them. When I was back I wondered how my soles survived those harsh stabs. A few hours later after a long day of painful hopping they stopped bothering. I looked across through the huge trees that guarded the house shadowing the road that ran past it,  past the clear, high rise building free view, to the see and the red, very red sun and the orange sky. If it was very very clear day, you might be able to see the sea. Or at least I hoped you could. Someone told me that before electricity and petrol cars you could hear the sea from the hill.

I can’t go there anymore. I don’t want to go there anymore and won’t go there anymore even if they ask me to. It was never mine. It was home only for a while and that’s not my story to tell anyway. I never belonged to the house and they made that clear. I don’t want to go live in that old mansion on the hill again. But the sun, the sky,the hill, the trees, those dry leave under my feet? They were mine. They aren’t there now, they can’t be there now, they won’t be the same now.  But I remember and I like to think that’s all I need.

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