Sunday, November 10, 2013

Of Dusk and Swings

And if light shall fade 
and fall to black...

There's probably some psychology term for it but a certain memory comes to mind every time I watch dusk fall - which isn't every day with all the things happening at the end of the day that prevent you from just sitting back and watching the world changing outside. Also I happen to live on the eastern side of a hill which means I get to watch sunrises but sunsets never. 

But I digress. Dusk somehow always brings back to mind a particular image. A little girl sitting on a swing, all on her own while nature shifts and changes colours all around her.  I was about 9 or 10, recently sent off to a boarding school (albeit with my two sisters) after years of living with my grandparents. The school had two sections separated from each other by a large, grassy field with a narrow cobbled pathway connecting the two sections. One section housed the classrooms, and the other was the main, rambling, Assam type building with dormitories for the boarders and a closed off section housing the chapel and nuns.

The swings were in the classroom section and were always in great demand during lunch breaks and before classes. I never even dreamed of trying to get a turn at those times. Instead, sometimes in the evenings when the pushy day scholars had gone home and the hostel girls were all busy doing something or the other, I would wend my way alone down the cobbled path and have the swings all to myself. There were two of them - one was high and scary and the big girls loved to ride it, giggling and screaming. The other one was children's size, I guess. I would sit on the wooden seat and  swing to my heart's content. Everything would be peaceful and quiet except for a few crickets singing in the trees and hedges. I would listen to the iron hinges creak as dusk fell around me. The world would grow soft and mellow,  enveloped in swift changing hues of crimson, pink, orange and purple and I would think of how the older girls always talked about how homesick they felt at sundown. Maybe I was too young to feel homesick, or maybe since I had never really lived with my parents since childhood I didn't feel that way. But I did sense something sad and lingering in the air around me. And then I would remember the classrooms behind me were supposed to be haunted so I would get up and make my way back to the dorms before it all got too dark.


  1. Ah, they haunt, always. Good read U Zualteii. Thanks for re-opening it.

    1. Thanks, Sanga, that they do, that they do

  2. I am reminded of this song from the musical, Cats.

    All alone in the moonlight
    I can smile at the old days
    I was beautiful then
    I remember the time I knew what happiness was
    Let the memory live again

    As usual great post. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Loch, beautiful weather these days with beautiful sunrises and sunsets which brought back the memories.