I am not exactly what is called a ‘morning person’, but somehow, I have always loved the sun and sunshine. And honestly, on days when I dont get up early enough to enjoy the sun for a long time, it really makes me sad.
The brightness of the sun brightens my spirit and gives me an energy and zest for life and work. Cloudy and rainy days have never appealed to me for that reason. The moment the sun comes out from behind the clouds, it seems the gloom and dullness in life has faded away from life giving me instant happiness and bringing a smile to my face!
Then there are just so many things that I am reminded of when I see sunshine streaming in through my balcony. Having grown up in the tropical climate of India, like every other Indian, I too share a long relationship with the sun.
In the winter mornings, I would see the maids and grandmothers of my colony oiling their babies’ bodies with sesame oil and taking them out for a stroll so they won’t feel cold. I would also then, hear my mother advising the maids not to do that because it will leave their babies tanned and brown. The other ladies too be out taking a stroll with coconut or jasmine oil in their hair, enjoying the warmth of the sun on their cooled heads. The men would be sitting in cane chairs in gardens or balconies reading newspapers or listening to the radio. So, the air was filled with the fragrance of a variety of oils and the blaring of old Hindi Bollywood songs, interrupted by the chatter of the ladies and the chiding of the men, telling the women to come back home or talk softly.
My mother, though she would not go out with the others and chat on the street, she would sit with me in the balcony on a charpoy, and peel oranges and peanuts and keep popping them into her mouth every few seconds. She would also, now and then, stuff some into my mouth. I, thus, would try to sit on the farthest end of the charpoy so as to avoid her feeding me with fruits and nuts, struggling with math problems or Hindi grammar. Eventually, I too came to enjoy eating oranges and peanuts in the sun. I still do.
Towards the afternoon, We could see all kinds of colours around us as the clothes had been washed and hung out to dry on the clotheslines and railings. We would see long red, pink, and yellow duppattas flying in the wind. We could see someone’s colourful printed bed sheets and even children’s underwear hanging along with the rest of the families’ clothes.
The moment right before evening is my favourite. Around 4 o’clock, the sun, as it moves to the west burns as bright as it can and says its final goodbye for the day. That is the moment, when I feel like I am saying goodbye to a friend and stand in my balcony, watching the sun gradually moving behind the buildings and preparing to set, feeling its final heat and love.
There are also numerous things that I love doing and I feel like doing when the sun is out in the day. These urges hit me especially during winter time when I cherish every day of sunshine as it is so hard to come across such a day.
1. Sitting in the garden, tending to flowers and talking to them as I turn the soil.
2. Reliving my childhood and sitting in the balcony with my mother reading a book and peeling oranges.
3. Listening to the radio
4. Going for a stroll
5. Watching the bright colours of things around me as they gleam in the sunlight
6. Clay modelling
9. Swinging on the children’s swings in the playground
10. Write an article or read a book
12. So, obviously, lie down on the grass and take short naps