I step out in a bright warm afternoon for a stroll without a purpose just to soak in the sun and admire the beauty around. In serene and somber mood I walk around noticing the development spring has brought in, down the lane Bougainville has stooped down with the weight of flower and is nearly kissing the earth. Palm Medows have 70 % expats and 30 % Indians though there is no name plate in front of any house, the decor of the facade and house gardens would tell you who is living inside. If you notice a little harder you would also know about the religious inclination and the family details such as if they have kids or prefer pets.

As I take a turn towards left I bump into lovely Radhika who is walking Zeenat after lunch. Some people inspire you, some motivates, some makes you feel beautiful and some makes you feel jealous but it’s very rare who scares the hell out of you every time you meet them, Radhika is one of them. We exchange pleasantries and discuss about upcoming events in the society . She inquires about my day and my long absence, she should know everything . Then we start discussing how quite the place is , she comes from Mumbai and find this place painfully slow and empty, she prefers hustle and bustle of the metro city. She miss the crowd , even her dog Zeenat miss the city. Back in Mumbai, she would be sitting in the balcony and watching people come and go for entertainment , here she have very less to appreciate as dogs don’t really admire greenery, flowers and landscapes. Then suddenly, she knocks me with information I could have done without knowing. She goes, ‘Mahima, it must be very difficult for you to stay alone at night ‘. Me, surprised ‘not really, I have help at home’. She, ‘no, not that, because of Shamshan ghat behind your house’. I am shocked with this new revelation, I couldn’t react. She, ‘you know what your bedroom window opens to it’. My eyes widen , she goes on ‘ but don’t worry it’s safe, just keep the windows shut’. I regain my composure, ‘ I thought it’s jungle’. She, ‘no, haven’t you heard all the dhol and patakas’ , now I am confused, ‘aree that’s when old people die , they perform rituals with all the celebration ‘. The celebration is so loud and elaborate that it sound like India has won cricket match against Pakistan so it never occurred to me that there is any other reasons for all the fire works. In India , there are three reasons for fire works, Diwali, Wedding and celebrating Cricket win. And now, I know there is one more.

Window through which I saw sun rise and sunset , tells a different story today. Though I am not afraid to stay alone at night but I do keep the lights on.

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