Soft brown layers of soot rested on unevenly plastered walls, washed green, or blue? Soot also clung tenaciously to webs beyond the reach of a round bristle brush attached to a long bamboo pole.
Really high ceilings, the house was enormous, its walls soared endlessly before hitting a dark ceiling.. wooden beams? terracotta tiles, I am not so sure now.
I remember a few smells too, a funny metallic eke of fried fish creeping in through the windows at lunch time..smoke from a muffled cotton wick exhausted of ghee.. the sea, and above all the smell of fear like that of oily hair and nycil prickly heat powder mixed with sweat-raw and rancid.
I must have been very small. I do not recollect the source of the odours or reason for the fear. Two or three at the most. Is that old enough to experience fear? guilt?
Wish I knew what led me to this post.
Now that I am here, at the doorstep of this house, at the doorstep of fear, this monologue has kicked in. I feel like encouraging it a bit, playing with neglected ghosts and shadows. Who knows what a small fire can grow into. I can come back with some other house from some other place, for over the years I have lived in and across from many house- a lot of them I remember well enough to revisit in detail.