It is a Saturday morning.
On Saturdays, I open my windows to the world. On all other days, my windows stay tightly shut to prevent uninvited rats and curious mosquitoes from straying in by the time I’m home.
Saturdays are different.
I wake up earlier than I should on Saturdays to release the catch on the window and slide the transparent glass doors open. I can see no more than I can see when the doors are shut, but the world comes alive in that simple movement of slide-door-to-left like a movie scene paused on television and then played. Sound bursts into my life, children from the neighbouring school screaming and playing, pigeons flapping awkwardly as they look for a landing spot in between frenzied flights with no destination, horns honking impatiently as cars line up behind one another while the rare cyclist weaves his way around them, trilling his bell. Crows sit cawing by my kitchen window, eyeing me with the same unflattering lack of curiosity as they do the stove, four spoons and a fly on the window pane.
I unbundle six bunches of flowers, peach and white roses, and arrange them everywhere – in slender vases, old lotion jars, in a long-forgotten plastic bottle which once housed flavoured cashew nuts. Flowers in the middle of my center table, on every window sill, tucked away behind a potted plant. I pause for a moment to inhale the fragrance.
A pigeon dances outside my window, cocking his head gracefully and nodding several times at me, as if he understands exactly what I would tell him, did we but speak the same language. Still nodding, he disappears and I burst into laughter at his gait – ta-tic, ta-tic, ta-tic, like an overweight housewife waddling in the market.
Stretching, I snuggle deeper into the sofa and begin to read Ruskin Bond. Delhi is not far, he writes. I listen to him quietly, attentively. Somewhere, the realization springs to life in the recesses of my mind: I listen to books and talk to people.
Outside, the pigeon pecks at his own wing and a schoolgirl yells, “Catch!” The word lingers in the air and the crow caws disparagingly, frowning at me as I walk in for a bottle of water and look at him inadvertently in the process, my mind still processing a line in the book.
I love Saturday mornings.