Thereโ€™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, Iโ€™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. Itโ€™s become habitual.

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From a sanguine yesterday:

When I left from work, the sky wasnโ€™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 allโ€™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. โ€˜Noahโ€™s Ark. Caesar Lane.โ€™ The scribble read. โ€˜How far is it from here, honey?โ€™ her confident voice enquired. Sweet and sharp, at once, the senile woman bore her eyes into mine.

One second. Two. Three. Four.

โ€œNoahโ€™s arkโ€ฆ Hope you know where that is now?”ย He smiled mischievously. The kiss had caught me unaware. For 5โ€, the world appeared just fine. For 5โ€ 9, you do wish you wereย 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 apartmentsโ€™ name on it – Noahโ€™s Ark. I smiled too.

โ€œIs it very far, dear?โ€ She almost pleaded. That word โ€˜farโ€™ pulled me back. Yes, he was far. And I, just a forlorn figure.

Noahโ€™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, โ€œNoahโ€™s arkโ€ฆ Hope you know where that is nowโ€?

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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