When I was small we used to take a lot of road trips. I remember getting up early. Packing snacks for the trip. My mother and father would drive alternatively. Sometimes we would stop by the road and pluck fruits from the trees, my father would tell us how to identify different trees by their leaves. My mother would tell us about the different rock forms. It was a delight to traverse through the expanse that is india. So many different things we would see within 400-500 km. It was amazing. Even though there was more to see during the day, my favorite part of the trip always was when the sun came down. Everything was cooler than before, the wind slapping your face, the smell of evening. The orange streaks turning into purple and then dark blue
. It was my favorite. The stars would appear above the lights below. I don’t know what it was but that is what I looked forward to the most. So beautiful I could cry. You could see squares of light from faraway houses. Sometimes you could peak a little inside their houses. Get a glimpse of their life. I wondered if we ever meet would we ever know that I crossed their house so many times. Sometimes you could smell the food being cooked. Sometimes you could see a single house standing alone. Almost always it was white in colour, with blue windows and white lights. It looked barren but intriguing. Nothing short of a scene from a novel
I wanted to go there. To go inside.
Look at it. The blue windows never gave much away. I would look at that house for as long as I could. and then think about it. It’s not one house but many like it. I never knew whether it was a happy house or a sad one. You just know it when you look at some houses. Like the small hut in the middle of the farm with the golden lantern was a happy house. I saw many of them. But this one. This one was so secretive yet so beckoning. Sometimes when I reach home every night I feel like I have reached that very white house with blue windows. I can enter this one too.
Behind the wooden door would be the answers to all the questions I had as a child, all the imagination put to rest, my mind satisfied because at last I could find out the secret of the white house with blue windows.
And it’s the same like I saw it years ago. Away in a distance with white lights.
But when I enter, the secret remains. Everything is still hidden. I am inside the house but I am still trying to catch a peak, except now I am tired.
And I still don’t know whether it’s a happy house or a sad house.