The silence of the rooms deafens my ears. The air seems to hang still… not a stirring anywhere. It’s not so warm and the fan is switched off. So the usual whirring of the fan’s blades cutting through the air is missing. I miss that sound… something that reminds me more of the long hot summer evenings. Suddenly the power goes. Just when my conscience begins to look forward to another round of silence there is a stirring everywhere around me. People are feeling their way around the house. The eye takes sometime to habituate. I love those few moments… when I know my eyes are wide open and yet I cannot even spot a trace of light anywhere around me. Somebody lights a match, I hear the hissing as the flames lick the soggy wooden matchstick. The maid had come to wash the kitchen in the afternoon and mindless that she is, she poured a bucketful of water before she noticed the matchbox. Thankfully it wasn’t too late. The escaping moisture seems to throw their last complaint at your face before making a dash out of the matchstick.
The shadows play around with the shadows of the mind. The room is sometimes lighted up by the headlights of the passing cars. Even they seem to stealthily pass by this place engulfed in darkness… The candle is finally lit after much protestation from the matchstick.
There is a moment’s pause before those familiar hands with their familiar shapes, the sounds of the bangles that I had always known, come with light – fire – man’s first discovery. The hands guard the flame against the sudden breeze that came from nowhere. I can see the blood flowing through the palm against the bright candle light. The tinkling of the bangles, make me sit up straight. It’s an old habit from childhood when I used to stealthily read storybooks during study hours. But those same bangle clad hands become the warm nook wherein I can nestle, guarded from all the dangers of the world.