Wednesday, June 09, 2004

It was one of those days when everything is beautiful.

The sky was baby-blanket blue, a strangely pretty, unreal kind of bright, primary blue, tempered by the slowly dying light of a setting summer sun. It was the kind of sky you only see in the summertime, the deliciously slow, vibrant sky of a tropical twilight that throbs with the retained energy of the morning. The breeze was surprisingly cool; it had been like this all day. Carrying a breath of welcome cool from some faraway mountain, the breeze had been steady and strong enough to feel it on your scalp; it was a rare treat, a respite from the usual sweltering, suffocating heat of June. The sometimes golden, sometimes smoky blue light took away the lines from faces, giving them the smooth, chiseled contours of a Greek statue; turning ordinary buildings and trees into finely created objects of art. Twilight has a tendency to romanticize everything in the world, and its special kind of magic light turns even the ugliest pothole into a contemplative, dignified entity, something you might take a black and white photograph of.

Mina smiled, and stepped into the grass.

It was thick and springy under her bare feet; the maali hadn’t been at it with his creaky, noisy manual lawnmower yet. Mina was looking for a four-leaf clover. She didn’t think she’d find on in maali’s generally well-kept lawn, but hope makes the world go ‘round. She dropped first onto her knees, then her hands, savouring the feel of the grass, its spicy-sweet scent, the insects busily bustling along, going up and down navigating their way through the green-brown carpet of grass stalk. Mina crawled around for a while before suddenly flumping down onto the grass as if she couldn’t resist its coarsely spongy, crunchy lure any more. The world was different when your eyes were at level with the ground. Rolling onto her back, the grass prickled through her thin lawn kameez and she smiled at the familiar itch. The sky was paler now, the setting sun slowly leaching the startling blue away into the pale gold that surrounded its diminishing orb. Mina was trying to catch that exact moment where all colour ended, that instant where the sky must be white before night took over with its midnight palette. The pine branches above her head waved their needles happily in the wind, nodding approvingly at the playful gusts that shook their pinecones with gentle laughter and blew Mina’s kameez awry.
The azaan wove its eerie echo into the air and birds began their ritual chatter, gathering in the trees to begin the flight home, swooping and arcing experimentally, dark against the still-light sky. Mina listened to the sound of her breath, the hum of the earth, the tingle of her nerves as she wiggled her toes deeper into the grass and debated staying there forever, a goddess of the grass if she could.

Mina at 9:49 AM