The glorious setting sun cloaks the sky in stunning shades of orange, pink and blue. Though it's not yet dark, a colony of bats silently whiz through the air, preparing for their night-time adventures. The sprawling Bangalore city skyline, with its tall green trees, and even taller apartment buildings, slowly starts to light up for the night. It is a sight that echoes across all the metros of modern India. Clusters of buildings, in various shapes and sizes, interspersed with trees, adorn the horizon, like a model replica of a building project. Standing tall at 126 meters, one particular structure that resembles New York's famed Empire State building, looms over the rest - UB Towers, the corporate head office for the conglomerate United Breweries Group. From up on the 8th floor, of one such high-rise building, I silently observe the city, as it comes alive for the evening.
In the distance, the rush hour traffic, that is now synonymous with Bangalore, slowly crawls at snail-like pace. The cacophonous sounds of horns of all different varieties fill the evening air. Though there is not an inch of gap anywhere, the shrewd auto-waalahs expertly weave their way through this chock-a-block stew of buses, trucks, cars, bikes, cycles, animals and pedestrians. Driving here is truly an art. Towards my left, a chugging train with its deafening toot slowly pulls into the local railway station. Without even waiting for the passengers on-board to exit, the new ones clamber onto the train, desperate not to miss their evening trip back home.
Something darts in front of my face and I step back in panic. But curiosity gets the better of me and I peek out again. A frantic pigeon zips across, zigzagging to avoid the local bird of prey - the Black Kite. Soon the kite's attention shifts to something smaller and off it goes, outstretched wings gliding through the air almost effortlessly, as it looks around for another prey.
Inside my apartment enclave, a yellow N.P.S school bus pulls in. A bunch of noisy school kids get off the bus, their once crisply starched and neat uniforms, now appear wrinkled and stained. “Surf Excel hai na” I muse to myself. Instead of going home, they rush over to the basketball court, where a game is already in progress. Carelessly throwing their bags into a corner, they crash the game and force themselves in. After a brief chat, the court is bustling with activity once again, as the kids run around, some more aimlessly than the others.
Over the sounds of bouncing balls and shoes skidding on the court, I make out traces of words - pass, throw, shoot. As I look around, I notice that the security guards are all congregated near the main gate, in preparation for the change over of their shift. They look on nonchalantly as their security manager goes through the drill. Outside, near the main road, an elderly gentleman gestures angrily at the group of stationary autos by the main gate. Though the conversation is unclear, it is quite evident that the lazy auto-waalahs must have refused to go on a trip. One of the things that still baffles me; they seem desperate to get a passenger, but refuse to take him/her to their destination.
Back inside the enclave, an eclectic assortment of people walk around the paved track that surrounds the apartments. Some walk briskly, determined to work up a sweat. Some others stroll leisurely, having a nice chat with their fellow walkers or just pushing toddlers in their prams. A few of them lost deep in conversation on their mobile phones, sombrely nod their heads in acceptance or disagreement with the person on the other end. In an enclosed park, the dog owners sit on the bench and drink some coffee, whilst their dogs go about doing their routine business. One of the dogs decides to chase an overly friendly neighbourhood cat; but the chase is cut short due to the sudden tug on his leash by his owner.
A sudden crash draws my attention back towards the main driveway. One of the kids from Block H seems to have driven his cycle straight into Manjunath, our local vegetable supplier. The guards, in their navy blue G4S uniforms, come rushing on to the scene to make sure no one was injured. One of my neighbours from Block G, who is out walking his dog Matty, the German Shepherd, walks over casually to the spot, his ears pricking up like his dog’s, in anticipation of some gossip. Since nobody is injured, every one soon disperses.
On the terrace of the apartment building adjacent to our enclave, a teenage girl paces up and down, reciting something off a book. A middle-aged lady battles against the evening breeze, as she tries to gather all the clothes from the washing line. On the neighbouring terrace, hidden behind a large black Sintex water tank, a couple of shabbily dressed young men share a cigarette between them and gawk at the girl. "Shameful!" I think to myself, as I glance at the time. “The Sintex is almost empty. Put on the motor” I hear someone yell in the local dialect. The gentle whining of the motor commences as I slowly shut my window.
[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. The prompt for today was "Through the window - Look out through your window for one whole minute. Write down what you observed."]
N.B. This has to be one of my shortest posts. That's because, there's only so much I can look at in ONE Minute. However the point of this prompt was to actually observe, and it was fun doing that. Sometimes, we just need to take some time off our busy schedules and watch life go by. Feels like bliss :)