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Sunrises and Sunsets in the Indian summers

A tale of sunrises and sunsets;
These two phenomenons,

which occur everyday,

are beautiful and majestic,

in their own way.

It breaks my heart,

to even say it out loud,

They have lost their glory somewhere,

and it is nowhere to be found.

Summer vacations as an Indian kid meant a long staycation at your maternal grandparent’s place. Amongst other things, sunrises and sunsets have always been a huge part of my summer breaks.

On many such long summer breaks, my summer romance with the sun flourished into a serious affair.

The tale of sunrises.

When I was just 7 or 8, I used to accompany my Nanaji( grandpa) on his ‘extremely’ early morning walks along with my cousins. He used to wake up long before sunrise, and even though he didn’t wake us up, we would somehow manage to wake up before he left the house.

At that hour, the streets were light up only by the few street lights here and there. The earthy smelling ‘coolers’ (an essential in every Indian house) that were put on before bed still had enough water to last another couple of hours.

The town was still asleep, but in just a few more minutes, as we walked in those dark streets, we could see the first light of the day.

We saw the darkness of the night fade away as the rays of the sun made their way. The chirping of the birds grew stronger and louder with every passing second. The wary street dogs would also let there gaurds down as the sky changed it’s colours.

The same air that felt a little eerie just a few minutes ago, became the cool and soothing early morning breeze.

Everything around us changed, as we walked to the park.

We stopped at every temple gate down the street to bow our heads with respect, even when they were closed this early in the morning. About half way to the park as the sun was now out, the only places that opened up catered to the early morning walkers. These were small tapris serving chai and poha to the forever hungry Indian gut, a delightful sight in a small town. We just kept walking towards the park and past those stalls with Nanaji and his group. ( One doesn’t get to eat before one exercises )

Basically, we set out in complete darkness, would walk towards the rising sun for real and till the time we reached the park, the sun used to shine in it’s full glory. That was it, just a few days every year, stepping out before sunrise, being able to watch the sun rise and walk towards it, that was all it took for me to be able to love this experience.

Filling me up with warmth and hope, sunrises had my heart!

Sunsets are a different story, the one where we returned from a different park.

After spending the late afternoons playing in the colony garden, I used to accompany my brother to one end of the colony, where we used to climb up the wall and sit there watching the sunset.

There was a small lake nearby and the sun would often set right in the middle of it with it’s almost sanguine reflection. The sky would turn a blush orangish red and the stark white birds would all fly back home together.

It felt like all the hustle and bustle of the day had just stopped for the time being as if making a reverence to the setting sun. Just faint sounds of, the kulfiwala’s bell trying to sell the last kulfis of the day, the sizzle of the chatwala’s tawa as he sets up his stall, worried moms calling their children to head back home and rebellious kids on their bicycles murmuring something in the background.

That was all what we could hear in the quiet and serene corner of a fairly crowded city. Just the perfect location to observe how the sky changes its colour, from an azure blue with hues of purple to different shades of crimson and then slowly fading to a plain dark field allowing the stars to shine through.

Extremely majestic, every single day.

Credits – Pixabay

Of late, things have been different.

Sunrises and sunsets are hardly ever enjoyed! I do not remember waking up before sunrise if it wasn’t to catch a flight or a train. While, sunsets are now reserved for sunset points and sometimes, just sometimes, to be enjoyed on my way back home.

It has now come to a point that, I do not even know with what audacity have I been claiming to love the sun since forever.

Life is moving fast, and priorities are changing with it. Evenings are spent watching Netflix rather than sunsets and mornings are spent lazying around in bed. Those things have their own pleasure and value, for sure , but those are certainly making us compromise on some amazing natural phenomenons every single day.

There are just a limited number of sunsets and sunrises each one of us have, and most days we waste one of each.

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