Saturday, May 3, 2008

The earliest memory I have of a house, is from years ago. I don't remember where it was, or what it looked like too much. There are hazy shadows where furniture might have been,  a kind of faded light permeated everything around.. probably from a 40 watt bulb. 
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. 


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