As the year came to an end, I sat there in our balcony with a cuppa noodle. The fireworks seemed to have captivated the peace of the space. The booming sounds and the echo of the celebration did not help in keeping the calmness alive. The sky looked like a sixteen year old carefree teenager. Full of life, thriving with hope and desire. The partly sparking ashes from the fireworks fell back like shooting stars. It was a madness both ways.
Somewhere in between that hustle, I found a little space where everything was pacified while it was soaked into the festivitities. Ours is a high rise residential right in the heart of the city. If I looked straight outside from the balcony, the sea always gleamed back while hiding stories and secrets in the waves. As I looked down from the twelveth floor, tiny vision of the reckless happiness caught my eyes. The residential committee organized a New Year’s Eve party every year and it seemed like a good opportunity for the all the Sharmas, Desais, Banerjees, Iyers and more to come together and get details about their lives- some show offs, some ups and downs and some philosophies. A buffet was mandatory with vegetarian, non vegetarian options and desserts. A budget friendly selection of alcohol make shift counter comes live after the midnight when the young lot goes back to their apartments to call it off a day.
The party welcomed the New Year with hope and yet another chancee to look forward to the future. Slowly, the aura changed with the departing childish spirit to a ripple of intoxicated laughs and casual debates about lifestyle choices. All these in just an hour past midnight. Soon the realization set in the party that there is a regular life to live in few hours. Household chores and office talks seemed to tone down the rush in their minds. In the next half an hour, everybody seemed to leave in groups. The fireworks stayed for yet another hour. The sky started to change its colour while the early morning chill began to make its way with the ticking time.
I could not sleep but I was not tired.
“Hey babe, any resolution this time?” he asked.
“This peace. Right here.” I winked.
The apartment was dark as we switched off the lights to enjoy the celebrations from the balcony. It was not an unusual thing to experience a salty chill and not cold shivering weather in Mumbai during this time of the year.
“Would you ever like to leave the city and move out of the country?”
“I don’t know. Would you like to?” I was curious.
“Well, there are always better places. As long as we are together.”
“Stop being so cheesy. Do you remember our first date? It was the evening after our grade 11 final exam.”
“It’s still so fresh in my mind. We stargazed on the terrace of your cousin’s house. The sky was happy that evening. It was mystic summer that year. The sky was exceptionally clear. The stars looked like fairy lights. Some were bright, some seemed to flicker. The breeze brushed our faces while we tried to match the constellations. It was not too long that we were hungry and wanted a snack. We went out in the neighbourhood and bought it from Ashu’s grocery. It’s still the same snack!” We reminisced as I help up the cuppa noodles like a trophy.
The first ray of the morning seemed to interrupt my time travel. It’s the first morning of the New Year. There was an unexplainable silence in the apartment. As I looked back inside the apartment, it has started to light up. The fresh air gave me goosebumps.
“I know I was not talking to myself this entire time. There you are. Happy New Year, Arjun. I know you could find yourself a better place. I am happy.”