Gulbarga.

I write this watching the grey clouds flirting with the expanse of the evening sky in Gulbarga. It is day three in this town and I have finished taking in the beauty of a strong, black Karnataka coffee. Outside, the monsoon clouds flirt with the expanse of the evening sky as I try to capture the scene into words, interspersed with romantic humour. I am not from this town. I have travelled a thousand miles or less to reach this place where I am neither a stranger nor a home-grown woman. Having lost into the greatness of the monsoon months, the town has suddenly grasped my attention. I am told, I have come here at a good time. The heat of the summers would have ransacked me of the continued hope that I nurture during my stay.

Vehicles move in some heavenly order although wadded into a room at this altitude, I could hardly hear their synchronized movement. I also have a blocked right ear. At the same altitude, beams have been erected to house a future building – a mall perhaps or another hotel. Gradually, the darkness is setting in and soon enough, I can no longer see the surroundings. A little while later, dogs would begin to howl their ominous howls – a warning or an embrace. I wish I could roam freely into the succinct spaces that have been created for humans to thrive. There are narrow roads and broader walls. But, blessed be the town, for such grand entrances appear that bestow upon the watcher, the pride of belonging to historic importance.

It feels at times, as if the sky embraces the earth here – carefully guiding its movements, its love shared in the illusion of the distance between the sky and the earth. There is the love of the heavenly mother resplendent for the watcher to feel. Even as stillness rests in the bosoms of the woods and the shrubs, one could feel the wildness resting in them. And, a voice rises in your heart beckoning to shed the pretensions that waddle inside your heart. Lights begin to be lit – one by one welcoming the night. I crave for the light to stay a while longer. So I could see the monsoon clouds and predict the eventuality of their coming down upon earth as the heavenly rains.

The town would settle itself down in a while. I honour the simplicity of the place, growing closer to the stillness inside. Fans and spokespersons would not speak about this town nor do the townspeople believe this place’s grandness. Nor will the mores capture this peaceful town’s mirth and sing of its glory. The town’s glory is only for the watcher and there sits its own responsibility.

The town would hold you for a moment, as long as you would want it to and then secretly, as a lover’s caress will pick you up and let you know how extraordinary you are. Gather your fears and let your love alone speak. For once in a while, you should allow to be cherished, held in wonder.

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