Reminiscence — castle in the sky..?!
On a breezy evening, Ish prepared his cup of tea. He swiped a WhatsApp notification — “If you share this to 10 members…” from: SQUAD and put his phone to charge. He took a sip from the cup of tea while he was gazing at gray-blue sky, the indescribably beautiful sunset which was his newfound quest for peace.
A hot cup of tea, gorgeous sunset on a weekend, what more does a wandering mind need?! Random thoughts started cropping up! Trying to figure out number of people in the flat with clothes that were drying in the opposite apartment. Six Little puppies were running around the trees and there goes the mind to take a wild guess on sibling order, their gender and pondered about their probable parent-dogs.
Clouds suddenly turned orange and vermilion, and there was a gold rim on the edge that shed light on his face. Placing hand over his face, he saw kids having a bicycle race in the park. His memory tape rewound back to almost 2 decades ago when he was a kid himself, playing around in the ground with a ball and a bat made from coconut branch. “Ah! Those were the days!” he thought as he was walking in the balcony.
“Yayie! finally exams are done! No more heavy bags, no more tuitions! No more mundane classes…” screamed the school going children in joy. Memory tape rewound almost a decade ago when he was in high school.
“Read and pass it back” said his friend as he handed a note that read — “Bakery after class, before tuition. Okay?”. He smiled and passed it back. Three of them left on alternate days to the bakery to buy absolutely nothing but to checkout girls. Being in an All-boys school, getting a teeny-weeny glimpse of girls felt like being on top of the world. Not having a mobile phone to instantly connect on social media, plus the neighborhood playing the role of a CCTV camera put them in dire straits.
To throw some random lines, to even make friends with girls, they had to find a time when it would be at least sparsely crowded. And that comprised of most of their high school days! They would never go without each other to the bakery. Let alone bakery, not even to school!
“Inseparable partners in crime! The SQUAD we were…” he exclaimed. “We still are, but those days were a class apart! How I wish we could relive the good old days! At least one day…” he huffed.
The sun was gradually hiding behind the buildings and trees. Red color slowly faded, and sky turned pink! It was around five years since they last met. They had a blast as they watched cricket and had their most anticipated discussion on pitch, batting order and anything with regards to cricket.
Since then they have been trying to catch up through Skype & WhatsApp calls after several failed meetup plans. When one is free, the other gets busy. Work schedules of course but even the dull conversations. Their informal talks became formal. Formal ones faded away with forward texts and not having much to talk often left an awkward silence.
“From ‘us’ to ‘myself’. The SQUAD slowly disintegrated!” he sighed. “Or maybe it’s just me! In my head! Maybe it’s just a matter of time!”, he thought as he was stroking his beard. He walked in to boil hot water to give his dad who was low on cold. He then folded his clothes and washed the cup.
He got back to the balcony and saw a few early-rising stars that jumped out in a blink, and a crescent moon that vaguely appeared. “Hit it off! Don’t chop and change, just make up your mind!” he thought, as he texted in WhatsApp group — SQUAD, “Hey Douchebags! Conference call, tonight. No excuses, Saturday night it is. C’mon! Don’t be lazy arses.”
There’s something about sunset that restores peace! For one fleeting moment, everything takes a backseat! Sort of finding the calm in chaos!