The Balcony outside of my grandmother’s room, in Hyderabad, is a Technicolor swatch card with wild bursts of hue that you really have to see to believe. The colors so vibrant in the blistering summer sun: bright, happy and scorching.
All you had to do was step back into the room to escape the summer heat but then, just to reassure ourselves, we’d peek just one more of those ‘last looks’ to see, if all was still as should be.
It is a packed balcony of shocking shades. The red of the chillies, the green of Tulsi, the scraggly rose and the yellow-green of a creeper. The walls are pink; the tile, a mosaic. There is even an orange stool. And all this, in a small balcony of a high rise.
The Balcony wouldn’t be complete without my grandfather always sitting in a corner with his newspaper, under a shade, and my grandmother, reading, writing, sorting through grains or just plain keeping an eye out for the comings and goings of the building people.
As the morning sun hit it, it was warm and promising. In the noon, unforgiving. And in the evening shade, mellow and secretive. It was at that time of the day that the plants were watered..and the smell…oh the smell…you know, that rain smell as water hits the hot soil. That smell was there every evening, wafting into the room and then into the house.. It was summer..
I found pictures of The Balcony on my phone today, forgetting I ever even had them. And in this moment of nostalgia..feeling homesick to the bone.. how I wish for that little piece of summer…