The road I take from work is beautiful. Parts of it are cobbled and in some places, crater-sized potholes gape at the sky. They look like mouths of hungry babies, longing to swallow the first sprinkle of evening stars. To the right are bright shops. All these have a vacant-lot feel to them even though people throng there throughout the day. Hasty menus are scribbled on mustard-coloured boards, a big Bata showroom preens in a corner, and plenty of hardware stores with pretzel-like steel grates line up like domino slabs.
The left side, on the other hand, is a charming little escape into the void.
There are lots of little lanes that snake up into the hills. These have shrubberies and flowers. Leaves on some of the trees look waxed and polished. Even the blades of grass are upright, as if they have been grown under laboratory supervision.
The hills they climb up to, though – those hills give a certain wild-child insouciance to the whole scenery. It’s a tumble-down version of innocence. I look at it the way I’d look at an old, weathered doll from long ago. With pretty much the same feelings.
I look for truth in those memories because of the memory of that truth.