Dusty. The tar roads felt soft to my flip-flops as I walked to the house for the first time. The summer heat scorched the city when we moved from cooler, less humid climes there.
It was a modest house. I remember lying awake at night as the rain pelted the windows and listening to frogs croak from the pond that formed in the adjacent lot. Mosquitoes. Lots of them. They buzzed around my head like a halo when I sat on the flat terrace late in the evenings to beat the oppressive heat.
I remember lying on the water tank, eyes focused on the blueness of the sky. The clouds forming shapes dictated by my imagination. I was twelve. I was twelve and reading books totally inappropriate for my age. The house had three doors that opened to the outside. I remember checking each door at night before I went to bed. I was paranoid.
I remember me and my siblings standing on the terrace by the TV antenna turning it ever so slowly till our very first television beamed images that were clear. I remember the young banana saplings. Coconut trees. The brown huge nut would fall once in a while with a huge thud. I remember my dad patiently splitting it open with a sickle. We would relish the cool coconut water with specks of brown and stray fiber floating in it.
And the well. I remember drawing water from the well using a pulley, a rope and a bucket. I remember washing clothes on a stone, beating it so the soap suds would spray. The cool mist felt like balm against the hot sun. I remember wringing out clothes till not a drop of water dripped and spreading it out on ropes for it to dry.
I remember standing at the small black metal gate, chatting for ages with my girlfriend who had cycled with me home. I remember the drumstick tree by the bedroom window dropping humongous hairy blanket worms (kambli poochi) inside. I remember sitting by the steps on the terrace that let to a small patio overlooking the road reading books, pretending not to hear my mom call me.
I remember running out to the yard as the first droplets of rain came down to yank the crisp sun-dried clothes before they were soaking wet. I remember the big kitchen and the smell of dosa and sesame oil as I came home from school each day. I remember the tube lights that cast bright white light on the laminate finish of the dining table as we sat and did our homework.
Most of all I remember what it was like to feel mud on my feet. To roam within the compound walls without fear. To peer into the well to see bugs and tadpoles. To swat mosquitoes as I sat waiting for the evening sea breeze to set in. I remember vestiges of a childhood that feels quaint now.
This is my entry to day eleven of Writing 101 at The Daily Post.