I have been told not to look at the setting sun for as long as I can remember. It was considered inauspicious, unlike the morning sun, which brought joy and new beginnings. What could the sun bring in the evening, tired as he was of his journey across the world? Yet, there is a certain compelling beauty that makes me want to see him, every single evening and beauty is rarely inauspicious.
One of the first things that I wrote was an article on evenings. I spoke about the bajji vendors, the flower sellers, the radiance on people’s faces in the evening; “everyone looks beautiful in the evening”, I wrote. I still say that. the best time for a date would be early evening, in an open restaurant, with the sun streaming through the leaves. No make-up will give you that glow, I can guarantee that. One of my friends (!) once spoke of a girl he saw in the light of a Petromax lamp at a chat bandi, one summer evening. She looked like a goddess, he said. I still think it was not the girl, but the magic of the evening that made him feel that way. The evening sun retouches our faces in ways that Photoshop cannot. 100 % natural, too.
One thing that I absolutely enjoy in the evenings is a long walk, preferably along the seashore. However, where there is no beach, even a hilly road would do. Some of my best memories include walking up the roads of Jubilee Hills to have tea at a small shop, tucked away between the lanes, with my husband, who was then my boyfriend. All those moments of love and romance we gathered keep us going even today. Another fond memory is one with a group of my students, walking down Mahendra Hills, after visiting the lovely Buddha temple on the top. In fact, the first time I went to the temple was with a friend, in the evening. He pointed out the view from the top, the breeze was in our face, my skirt was fluttering like a kite in the sky : it was pure MAGIC.
Back then, when I was still unmarried, I enjoyed running away to coffee shops in the evenings to write, to read, to just be by myself. That was when I grew my wings of independence, where I dreamed of being a bigger person than I was. Now, I do not need a coffee shop to enjoy my solitude (my partner understands my need for space perfectly. thank god for that!) .But I still write my best in the evening, with the setting sun for company.
At this point in my life, evenings still mean walks, albeit with my four-legged friends ; hot cups of coffee in my petit jardin; some soulful jazz on my player; cooking some dinner ;
and spinning a few dreams.
Tell me, have you not fallen in love with evenings too?