The door opens to let in the low hum of the diesel generator. A pitch above is the chirping of the birds drowned at intervals by puja bells from my neighbor’s apartment. The road in front is wet from last night’s rain. My watchman walks out barefoot to the black gates of our apartment. He stands leaning against it for a while before turning and walking back to the shelter of the parking lot. From the balcony of one of the apartments on the building on the opposite side of the road a lady in blue pajamas is reading the morning paper.
A yellow school bus passes by. There is a little girl with blue pinafore peering out of the window. In the distance I can hear a truck splashing water as it passes the junction near my house. A pair of red vented Bulbuls fly from across the street and perch on the black telephone lines loosely running semi-parallel to the road. They turn their heads at right angles while tweeting enthusiastically. They are frightened away by a pale green scooter passing on the street. The leaves on the trees near the black gate are bright green. They rustle with a ‘swoosh swoosh’ sound as a gust of wind blows.
The lady with the blue pajamas is joined by an elderly lady who is eating biscuits dipped in a hot beverage in a tea cup. Outside the gates of the opposite building a child with pigtails tied with red ribbons is talking to no one in particular. There is a freshly drawn kollam on the ground.
A man on a bicycle enters the street yelling,”Apple Apple!”. He has a brown basket attached to the back of his cycle. The contents of the basket are covered by a brown sack cloth. A black sedan leaving the parking lot of the opposite building splashes water on the vendor.
The two ladies on the balcony are joined now by a man with a ‘Deccan Chargers’ tee. They are all looking towards my apartment. They are looking at me – with book and pen, early in the morning. They must be surprised since the door to my apartment is rarely opened before 9 am most days.