Each wrinkle on his face was telling a tale from his enormously long life. He knew little Hindi. Somehow, I find such folks in Garhwal, who do not know Hindi, from a different world. Their ancientness invokes curiosity in me. We had almost no common language, but still we managed to talk and enjoy each other’s company! I used signs, little Hindi, he replied in little Hindi and more Garhwali, I smiled, he smiled,, sometimes must be feeling that I am stupid on simply smiling in response to his cryptic questions in Garhwali! I managed to learn that he had come to attend nature’s call of the morning, somehow, the elderly still feel, “log bahar hone undar kyun jaate hain“. One has to be from north India to appreciate that deadly one!
Although the movie with the name was drab against the high hopes I raised, but the experience I had in the morning during walk was amazing. I was amazed to see how flexible my day is. I got up in the morning at 6 and felt very cold. It was like Tabu felt cold on her first morning in New York. She took a shawl out of trunk and wrapped around. Similarly, first thing I did after getting up in the morning was putting on jacket and a mufflour all around my neck and head and ears. I have been here for over a month now, but these days may be because I am in the spirit of namesake, I felt as new today here as Ashima Ganguly felt on her first day in New York. After guarding myself with woolen I paid visit to toilet. Sitting on shit pad, thoughts started arriving in my head, and I was little pissed off with that. At least in the morning, these thoughts should give me a break. I am yet to be done with morning call, and thoughts are trying to find room in my head. I really should start some form of meditation, I desperately need that. So I tried to flush the thoughts out by closing my eyes. I had brushed my teeth the previous night, so I did not feel as bad, as I would have otherwise felt. Closing my eyes, I felt that I should sleep more, but as I came in the room, I saw at clock and realized that I had slept 8 hours. Had I been in city, I would have rushed to bathroom or to stadium for running, or to gym, trying to waste as little time as possible. But now, here when there’s no hurry to do things, when there’s no deadline to meet, I just lazily got down on bed, eyes half closed, sometimes staring through the bluish surrounding outside of early morning, sometimes covering my head with quilt to avoid the light from the same window. In this pleasant cold, it is so pleasant to just lie down silently in semi-sleep state. At 6:30, I felt I am not getting any sleep anyway; I should get up and take a walk. When I was in Noida, my morning itself will start with confusion and indecisiveness. When my eyes open up in the morning, I would be wondering if I should sleep more or is it enough. Then when I decide I should sleep little more, then after few minutes of that semi-sleep state, I would struggle to confirm to myself if I am getting sleep or wasting time in bed. Now, here in the village, that state is less intense and I come to that point of beginning of struggle quite late. After I woke up completely, I put my earphones and sneakers on, and put camera in pocket and started walking. I was busy with thoughts and music in ears, but some part of me was also silently and pleasantly enjoying every breath of fresh air, of the sight of fluttering of leaves of very few non-pine trees which are lining the road. Soon I saw couple of school girls with big pair of flowers of white ribbons on their heads, which looked funny and cute on them. Sun had risen but it was beginning to bless this side of the hill. At some point, my walk was almost matching pace with that of sun in rising up here. So in few minutes, I was touched by the first rays. As I was walking up, sun started showing up, playing peek-a-boo through pine trees. And now was the rendezvous with sun, we were almost face to face. I was bathing in his warmth. Early morning sun and setting sun offer unique and pleasant warmth, which is not scorching. I was hearing the beautiful lullaby from Omkara, ‘Jag Jaa’, I started singing the same as if praying to Lord Sun. I took plenty of his pictures. He must be feeling shy of this paparazzo. As I walked forward and continued to hum I met this old frail man who I would often see while running. Today I stopped and talked to him. With the lens of my Canon SX110IS, I captured the contours of his face.