Sunday, June 19, 2005

last friday afternoon i was trudging along the cooking sidewalk towards the front entrance so i could go to shanni khala's. bag was heavy, ponytail was high, summertime making me squint. and then i saw it. in the middle of the square of lawn adjacent to the building was a big fat rubber hose, the ones the colour of frog underbellies jaisey hotey hain yahan. this one was unusually big and fat...and it had two holes in it at, one in front and one lower down. they were wrapped round with brown box-packing tape, but there was a misty spray shooting up a few feet from each hole nonetheless. i stopped and stared at the water sparkling in the late afternoon light, and i was six years old again, running through the sprinkler on a sultry afternoon nothing like this one, shrieking and slip-sliding in the wet grass and dancing like a small pagan earth-worshipper.

so i stand and stare at the little fountains and all i want to do is run through it, back and forth a few times, and skip around in the water and yell 'yaaayyyy!!!!'.
it's really hot.
but i'm wearing a white shalwar.
water! water! it's so pretty! it's like pixies and fairies wearing diamond dresses and dancing on the wind!
there are guards looking at me from the parking lot across the road, and behind me are more boys materialising outside the khoka.
it won't take long.
but i'll have to come back for my bag and i'll be wet. and then i'll go to Quran class not only wearing a teeny-tiny kameez with teeny-tiny sleeves, but a WET one at that.
i want to run through the damn favaray! i don't care about being soggy!
but you can't! all the icky men will stare at you! your reading package will get wet and it isn't yours! and you'll have to take off your watch too, and then all the spontaniety will be killed, and i think all your thinking has killed it anyway!

so i longingly stare a little more at the garden of eden behind the bushes. it's like neverland and i can't go in because i've begun to think too darn much.
'i'm old.'
it comes out on a sigh, a little more wistful than i expected. i tear my eyes away from the mirage, the patch of cool green bliss and trudge on down the shimmering concrete feeling ancient and boring and, strangely, lonesome. maybe if i had had a partner in jumping i would have done it, or someone to tell me how stupid an idea it was because then i would have definitely have grabbed them and ran through the water :)

Mina at 1:35 PM

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