No two days are exactly the same.

No two days are exactly the same. Sometimes, there’s a difference in the way the sunshine scatters the dust on the window ledge. And sometimes, it’s the stare of a passer-by on the street that hadn’t pierced my home yesterday. Today, I spotted a beautiful coppersmith barbet in the overgrowth surrounding the ruins of a building that never saw the light of day. The one other time I saw this little green bird with black markings and a bright red forehead was outside the bedroom window of my mother’s home. Back then, tall trees had their own wild way with our courtyard. Today, they’ve all been hewn and the rare birds have become rarer still, rather like the moments of euphoria in my home-bound life.

If there’s one thing I always look forward to, it’s making tea. The way the froth bubbles over the rim of the saucepan, emanating an intoxicating aroma of cardamom and masala infused in tea – it never fails to press a refresh button on my senses. I like the taste of tea too, but it doesn’t come close to the magic of experiencing its preparation. The process of tea being prepared is like the unfurling of a new day – I know the day will never live up to the promise of its glorious morning and yet, that doesn’t stop me from revelling in the promise itself. Seated on the very same window ledge we discussed earlier, I romance the cool morning air and imbibe the sight of fluttering leaves and the sound of twittering birds into my thirsty soul. My spirit doesn’t seem to thrive on things that enliven many of my peers – events, chatter and religion. Rather, it seeks the peace of unfettered nature, the freedom of religion-free godliness and the perfection of silence and solitude. These aspirations don’t exactly endear me to other people but what can I do – I shrivel when placed in the glare of social and cultural demands.

Sometimes I think that all of my soul resides in a mug of coffee had on a quiet, solitary evening enhanced by golden sunshine and pre-dusk birdsong. And at other trying times, my spirit hides inside me, in a phantom mug of coffee on an evening I cannot reach. I love art and good music and to dance but I love stillness most of all. The raucousness of parties and celebration, the strange and inescapable requirements of being an Indian, a woman and a daughter-in-law – they feel like echoes of a world that doesn’t really exist. All I know, is that I’m alive in a moment that is perfect, if only it was untainted by the illusory trappings of an unfair and rigid society.