{My Room at home}

I enjoy reading stories and poems about them, the spaces where ample joyous moments meet silent webs of loneliness or existential emptiness, “The Rooms”, which, usually, are formed by a combined effort of four walls, a floor, a ceiling and a door. One of the walls, in most cases, has a large or moderately large rectangular open space, the doors of which are opened out to the world outside, i.e. windows. A window allows the external world to enjoy a glimpse of one’s private world, the cocoon that offers an opportunity to the interested to study the moods as cultivated by the room.

I thought of inserting one of my favourite poems written about “The Room or The Window”, but ….now that Sunrise girl responded to me with a poem … I am uploading Cavafy’s “The Afternoon Sun” (which influenced my thoughts, to some extent)

The Afternoon Sun

This room, how well I know it.
Now they’re renting it, and the one next to it,
as offices. The whole house has become
an office building for agents, businessmen, companies.

This room, how familiar it is.

The couch was here, near the door,
a Turkish carpet in front of it.
Close by, the shelf with two yellow vases.
On the right -no, opposite- a wardrobe with a mirror.
In the middle the table where he wrote,
and the three big wicker chairs.

Beside the window the bed
where we made love so many times.

They must still be around somewhere, those old things.

Beside the window the bed;
the afternoon sun used to touch half of it.

. . . One afternoon at four o’clock we separated
for a week only . . . And then-
that week became forever.

Constantine P. Cavafy

Like everyone, when I enter a room, I tend to breathe in its essence filled with some kind of light air – a few smell musty, a few carry light floral scent, a few have a faint odor of garden next to it and a few others exude a sense of familiarity and warmth one would love to be part of. I love to stand at the window of my room (at home) or of the flat where I live (the city where I work) and look across the road or the open courtyard at the opposite flats or houses, lose self in nameless warmth offered by brightly lit windows (clinical touch of Tube lights or Warm glow of regular bulbs) and their occupants. I, shamelessly (I admit, but I am not an intruder. I dnot play the Voyeur) watch people sitting in the couches or on the window sills, sharing the evening of their minds, the morning of their freshly revived energies, or the night of their withdrawals, or the light-heartedness of their life by stretching the time over laughing, talking or lazing around in the couch watching some game on the TV etc.

I am not sure who renews who – the rooms revive their occupants or the occupants bring back the joy to their rooms, but I feel, they are not just shadows but substantial light is shown upon the performers and the stage, bright, irreplaceable, inexhaustible and true. The “four-walls” seem to acquire certain palpable vignette charcter of its own, if one stays longer, could reflect the human influence of the occupant or the aspirational image the occupant wants to portray to the world that comes in to have conversations with the room & its accessories. Given a choice, I would prefer the former.  The rooms dressed up (do we dress them down too?) in vibrant oranges, browns and reds, or the soothing blues or comforting lighter textures of nature, tend to relax people by removing the harshness of life, the streets from their faces, shoulders, arms, knees and feet. Whenever I encounter that avoidable heavy feeling of loneliness around my shoulders, I prefer to walk across the room, stand near the window, stare at the performance of life floating around, free with a sense of abandonment, people going about their regular activities, offering me some cracks in the walls (do they offer or do I snatch them forcibly) to conjure up a few chapters of their lives in my little head. Perhaps, they feel the same about me, when they watch me working, or standing near the window sunbathing with a book in my hand. At times, someone glances up at my window and makes me realize that he or she knew I was watching him or her. In a dreamy world that’s designed far away from the world of reality, like the one in the film “Bed of Roses”, where she gets an unexpected delivery of roses from a secret admirer who sees her breaking down and crying uncontrollably, a night before, at her window. Developments of such kind (effortless way of finding true love, which is a strenuous one) are quite rare in real life. All of us feel a sense of comfort when we watch people – people do window-shopping or stand aimlessly in the modern citadels of consumption, i.e. Shopping Malls, watching others, we call it human therapy.

People rejuvenate people, people comfort people, as long as their private worlds do not collapse into others’. However, when this happens, a whole turbulent universe of expectations, anticipations, dreams, longings, frustrations, explodes soon with a great momentum, immediately after an initial euphoric trip of emotions. It’s such a bliss if one retains his or her private world, but engages with others’, assuming a certain degree of enchantment blended with a discerning level of aloofness. I ensure that my room stays on as a familiar {I should be able to move around with my eyes closed, without getting obstructed by something during the motion) and comforting space (some kind of language emerges between the room and the occupant after spending mornings, afternoons, siestas, evenings and nights  together), with aptly placed ingredients or the accessories that are expected to heighten the “addiction-quotient” of the room.  Like the couch in the corner, near the door, the low chairs made of light bamboo, the open shelf painted in red with books, a wardrobe with a mirror where the occupant spends a few minutes to celebrate her feminine graceful charm or to feel the gradual erosion of the same, immediately after those daily escapades with water (I meant bathing), the corner where the bed reaches out to the window, spacious enough for the little head to explore its world of classical assurance – the stars, the dark skies, the rains during which the elements make love unabashedly, or to move into the world where nobody knows her but herself, where lines are written or erased, where profound, human-like unstoppable cravings crawl into the bed, which has  not been shared with anyone.

 

Mornings, Afternoons, Siestas and Evenings are no longer as lifeless as they used to be.
A strip of sunlight streams around and everything becomes still quiet.
A golden-hued revolution unfurls slowly from the corner.
And then it overflows, through the earthen pot, spills over the cloth,
leaves a few stains around, crawls up to me.
For the first time in my life, I forgot to hate my brown skin….

 

I planned to buy nautical blue-colored curtains,
cream-colored soft pillows, a crackle glass shades lamp
in the corner, just like the one I saw in his bedroom and
some other things for my world. I would have loved to rest
my head against the wall I painted in bright Oranges and
lemon yellows. My window opened into the night would have
turned its head to the steps of a tired looking woman in
high-heels coming down the walk. It would not have minded
giving coffee in a ceramic mug with yellow flowers printed
on it, to the emptiness that drifted in along with her body.
So much, I wanted to do. You see, my life is too dull, with
no events. The weekend crowds would have whispered over
foaming mugs of beer, there she goes after work, to her car,
gives a brief smile at those leaves fallen around, a brief flash
of her thigh as she bends on her knees to collect a few for her
book, goes for a brief shopping to get a fresh loaf of bread,
a pack of Italian pasta.

 

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