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Slice of life

10/11/2016
It is a summery but humid evening and my cotton shirt clings slightly as beads of perspiration appear on my forehead.  I am almost done for the day, so I switch off my computer screen and walk out into the airy balcony. The diaphanous white curtains seem to be flowing gently and I love how the warm breeze feels against my face.

Glancing at the expanse of the open green community space below, I see kids racing up and down the street on their cycles.  Few of the girls have moved under the shade of the ficus tree and painting bright nail polish on each other’s fingers and toes.  A little girl in a canary yellow frock sits on the bench sucking on a candy oblivious to the world around her !

The languid mood rubs off on me and I decide to take a walk around Orchard with my camera. I get downstairs and make my way across towards the community club. There is the affable looking guy who shoots me a smile as he is walking his dogs.

Along the sides, ladies sweep up the dry leaves into neat looking mounds.

Striding back from a swim is this tall thin lady, with a burnished complexion and the most lively champagne brown eyes. She wears fluoro clothes in a non conforming way and carelessly runs her fingers through her grey fuzzy hair as she stops to say hi. Charming as she is, she tells me about her decision to move away from everyday life into natural, meaningful spaces with solitude.

Not wanting to miss sunset by the pool, I quickly head towards my destination.  A little boy is splashing around enthusiastically in the kiddies pool. I pull out my camera to capture the look of pure glee on his face. So much joy! Reminded me of my childhood when I learned to swim in the pond behind my grandparents house. The water was green and home to fishes and tadpoles. In the evening we would run around and catch fireflies.
Lost in thought, I see that the sun is almost down, the sky a beautiful light purple color with pink clouds.

I walk behind the pool premises, landing into the backyard of this extremely vivacious and creative couple, busy tending to their garden of herbs and overgrown bushes. I can see that barbecue grill has been set up in the corner with the burnt charcoal aroma spreading around. A party to celebrate the success of our most recent painting exhibition they say. Working from home, in our built in studio has been far more fruitful and comfortable quips the husband. I leave, not before trying the home-made  coconut cookies.

Night is slowly descending. The stars appear dimly in the sky. The sultry weather persists as I trace my way back to the open green central space. The mosquitoes buzz over my head as I try to swat them rather unsuccessfully. The boulevard is lit with the solar powered lamps and reaches a little till the front yard of the homes. The homes are lit too, warm, bright light, softened by the trees and plants outside. I can make out the silhouette of a lady playing some musical instrument as soft tunes waft out into the surroundings.

The mood is set into a contemplative tone as I realize about the eclectic mix of people in this community who add magic to the surroundings. The multi-personality of the place that hides and blends into the surroundings is vivid and infused with life due to these people. This is place that kindles bonhomie and hence you feel at home, making it your special place.

Pavana Hegde
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