I have grown to love the electric wires crisscrossing over urban cities in India, cutting the sky into squares, rectangles, diamonds of all shapes. This is how electricity first came to the city, its buildings, its neighbourhoods — slowly. Lighting one bulb, one television screen, one electric kettle at a time.
And then soon, geysers, computers, factories.
But the city had always been there, its old rust-orange buildings, houses with windows, and families looking through them at an uncut, never-ending sky, waiting. For light, zigzag lines on a TV screen, warmth.
In the summer, we used to visit my father’s coastal hometown. The first evening, my cousins and I would spend hours sitting on the terrace. Long after the conversations died, we stayed, just sitting there. Lying on my back on the roof, I first learnt to distinguish between twinkling fireflies and stars.
I have found many things in the quiet. The time to listen to a favourite song over and over again. The comfort of a silence you can share in half with a friend. Sometimes I replay old memories in my head and try to remember exactly how I felt then.
Sitting there, still and quiet, I realise how slowly time moves. Yet so much could happen in a second. It could grow darker, I could remember something old and funny, our hands could touch. Maybe somewhere, slowly, a star could flutter, grow yellow wings and begin to move.