Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Jodhpur Diary: A desert waiting for the rain

August 14, Tuesday

It's raining.

It's been raining since yesterday afternoon, continuously in varying degrees of intensity, from heavy downpour to mild showers to drizzles to needle sprays. There are few things as beautiful as a desert monsoon. It's magical....it's sheer revival, a return to vitality for a thirsting soil, and its flora and fauna. It's been great that my arrival coincided with the onset of the wet season. The garden my friend 'M' has so lovingly and painstakingly grown is a sight to behold. The flowers are blooming with brighter shades of red, pink, blue, purple....and the leaves are a greener shade of green....if you know what I mean!!

Imagine morning and evening walks in a fine, light needle spray shower, and getting thoroughly drenched in a heavy downpour just for the heck of it.....and there's Norah Jones singing:

Like a flower
Waiting to bloom
Like a light bulb
In a dark room
I'm just sittin' here
Waiting for you
To come on home
And turn me on

Like the desert
Waiting for the rain
Like a school kid
Waiting for the Spring
I'm just sittin' here
Waiting for you
To come on home
And turn me on

Holidays turn my world upside down. My days start later than I'd like them to and end later than what's good for me....but I'm not complaining...it's heavenly to forget routines and schedules once in a while. Especially when a late, late night can give you a scare and goose bumps!

It was one of those nights when I Skype with my son in Canada at around midnight our time. Alyssa gets back from playschool then and I get my quota of baby-watching and chatting. So here I was after one such session and it was around 1.30 am, and sleep was elusive. I decided to catch up with some pending work on the net. As I tapped away at the keys, I was distracted by a sound that didn't fit into the usual night sounds I had experienced in my new environs. Then came a waft of cologne. Who on earth would bathe or shave or whatever and use cologne at this hour, I wondered and decided the thought was as ridiculous as the imagined activity itself. But then it happened again and again.
Bandicoot rats in the cupboard I screamed silently...I had lost my voice as soon as the thought occurred!

I sat petrified in front of the lappy, my fingers frozen above the keys. The petrifying insanity lasted a few seconds and I was back to rationality. There were bandicoot rats around the place but none inside the house, I reasoned. What if one slipped in and was in a cupboard and jumping over cologne and perfume bottles and releasing the fragrance, said the other part of my mind that I sometimes listen to, especially at moments like these. One would think I wanted to heighten the prospect of fear and enjoy the goose bumps that had started to bump up my spine and arms. "That's the stupidest thing you've thought in some time," I said and continued with my work. But once you lend a ear to neglected thought processes they don't let go so quickly.

"It's a burglar at the door."

Oh yeah, he doused himself with perfume to commit a burglary. Pathetic!

"It's someone in the house who felt like having a bath...it's possible."

Haan, but highly improbable.

"I know, it's an apparition. Remember what happened in Mohali?"

Now, my saner mind was listening. That wasn't good. I looked toward the room to my left, and my own room to the right. Nothing felt wrong. I relaxed.

Rubbish. Your imagination is running wild.

"Oh yeah, then why aren't you looking at the staircase behind you?"

That did it. I just didn't want to look at the staircase behind me. Then it happened again...a kind of whoosh and slight crackle, and the fragrance. I realised it was closer and to my left. Was someone outside the side door?

I turned just as the whooshing sound occurred and it hit me! There on the wall above the wrought iron screen was the room freshner dispenser....I laughed my way to bed and deep slumber and the whooshing fragrant ghost kept vigil.

My holiday is so holidayish and lovely!!

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8 comments:

  1. Wonderful Joy!! I am glad you're having a good time!

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    1. Thanks Maxie! It's a long, overdue, extended holiday.

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  2. Oh my, that must have been an adventure for you! I can imagine your relief when you figured it out. I've had similar things happen and am always relieved. Feeling a little silly, but relieved. :)

    Have a lovely holiday!

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    1. Yes Karen, silly but relieved! Thanks, I'm on an extended holiday, till the 10th of Sept, and will fly back on the 11th....back to base.

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  3. Wow! I enjoyed the suspense! Beautifully written! Happy Aug 15th to you!

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    1. Thank you Za faran...wish you have a great day too today!

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  4. HA! I love the story of your imagination running away with you, oh those cologne dousing burglars are crafty indeed. Enjoy your holiday and please keep telling us about your adventures, you writing is so lovely.

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    1. Annie, thank you! Oh, this place is so funny and amazing all at once. I've come here after years and I'm enjoying every moment. Will keep you posted...I'm sure there'll be a lot happening in the days ahead.

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