Soulmates from Sunrise to Sunset
The greatest comfort humans have is probably the fact that the earth keeps rotating at the same pace. The sun rises and sets every day. Though the sun’s journey remains the same, human voyage is ever changing and keeps altering human perceptions. On the Darjeeling Hills, sunsets and sunrises are exactly the same and yet so different.
There are many factors that influence a person’s world view at a given time. One’s company, I would say, is the most important of these. Second Chance House has a 150-year-old history. However, over the last few days, we put in many bricks of personal memories into this house of stories. Sunsets and sunrises will henceforth carry the warm glow of friendship.
In anticipation, I kept looking out at the gate every 10 minutes. Time has a funny way of teasing people. It slows down and quickens its pace in the most aggravating of ways. As the sun starting dipping behind the hills, the dear faces of Aparna, Dipali and Inara (Dipali’s daughter) appeared, bright shining as the sun. After which the hours got all muddled and confused as we chatted, chatted, chatted and chatted. We were on the Selim Hill swing which oscillated between the past, present and future.
The years melted, waists narrowed, a change of clothes and scene…. we had entered a time warp. No one could tell our age anymore. Oft repeated stories were retold; crushes, enemies and friends were revisited; recent successes and failures were also discussed. Like the trees, the sun and the moon, there was no judgement, just simple acceptance.
When we were growing up, we knew our friend’s parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins and neighbours. I feel like my life in Selim Hill is now anointed because Aparna and Dipali have been introduced to the Faraway Tree, the bamboo grove, the dancing butterflies and of course, the hammock. As we piled onto the hammock one after the other for a photograph, the hammock gave way and we landed in an undignified pile. There was no choice but to laugh as we nursed our bruised backsides.
We have been told that the three of us have very different personalities. The cake that we baked was proof of how we can make the impossible, possible. Made with limited ingredients and very few gadgets, the essence was friendship. The tastiest cake ever made was bursting with love, joy and memories.
The labyrinth of life has taken us on different paths as we try to solve the puzzle of existence. However, as we snuggled in one bed, in one blanket, it felt like we had never moved an inch. The sun rose and the sun set as we three watched the different colours merge into one another. In a huge, huge universe, there is a tiny microcosm that is snug and homelike.
Amidst the million cups of Dorje Teas we drank, we tucked into wholesome food, guilt-free and carefree. As we hugged and bid good-bye, we were embalmed and empowered to challenge life as it challenges us.
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