There’s no perfect rhyme or reason, no particular time or season, to reminisce about things, events or people. An old photo or a mere walk down an abandoned lane can bring a rush of memories and before you know, you are spiralling down the rabbit hole.

In the evenings, on my ride back home from work, I’m lured into realms of mindless reminiscences. Pondering over this and that. Ruminating about ifs and buts. Quixotic expectations and half-baked desires, long forgotten, follow me, bore into my conscience. I falter. Lose my way. I miss a turn or take a wrong one. It’s become habitual.

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From a sanguine yesterday:

When I left from work, the sky wasn’t as dark. Last vestiges of amber analogous to the last vestiges of faith; the insufferable ache of resigned hopes. A chilly wind blew over my face. Perhaps, not all’s lost, not yet. A shimmer of eager anticipation for the unknown. A strange caprice settled over my heart. At ease, I exited the parking lot.

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From a desolate fortnight ago:

An unfamiliar face, drooping shoulders, with quivering hands, she extended a chit. ‘Noah’s Ark. Caesar Lane.’ The scribble read. ‘How far is it from here, honey?’ her confident voice enquired. Sweet and sharp, at once, the senile woman bore her eyes into mine.

One second. Two. Three. Four.

“Noah’s ark… Hope you know where that is now?” He smiled mischievously. The kiss had caught me unaware. For 5”, the world appeared just fine. For 5” 9, you do wish you were taller. As if reading my mind, he stooped a little. And I caught a glimpse of the dangling yellow board, overhead. Glowing under the Christmas lights, with the apartments’ name on it – Noah’s Ark. I smiled too.

“Is it very far, dear?” She almost pleaded. That word ‘far’ pulled me back. Yes, he was far. And I, just a forlorn figure.

Noah’s Ark. The south of where she wants to be. How did she get here? Directing would be an attempt in vain. Several silent seconds pass. A pair of tired pale blue eyes stare at me. I contemplate getting her seated in a rickshaw; I help her mount my scooter instead. 35 minutes later and 11 kms farther, away from my route, a composed elderly touched ground under a glowing yellow board.

A heart pounding inside my chest, the blood degrees cold, the mind adamant, ruthlessly reiterating, “Noah’s ark… Hope you know where that is now?

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Winters are poignant, beautifully remindful of times, then and now. I love winters for the same reason that I loathe them.

Asha Seth