It is late in the evening. And small silver stars are glittering far away on a deep purple sky. The moon is a thin sliver behind translucent clouds that are floating gently across the sky to places unknown.
Our balcony window is wide open. A cool breeze blows into our living room, where all of us are seated or sprawled, watching a show on Netflix. There are two main characters in the show, and two factions have developed. My daughter is on one side, while my husband and I are on the other. We keep teasing our daughter, and she rolls her eyes in exasperation.
And…then, all of a sudden, my daughter points at the balcony floor. A lizard is on the ledge between the balcony floor and the living room. It seems to be watching the show too!
I think out aloud, “Maybe the lizard has had a long day like me, and is taking a breather by watching TV”.
I ask my husband what he thinks. And pat comes the reply…”Nothing, it is just a lizard”, and he goes back to watching the show.” Men!!!!
My daughter chips in, “Hey lizard, please get your own subscription… it is better not to watch TV with these two people”, and points us out to the lizard.
All of us burst out laughing. Each of us reacted to the lizard in our own way, by projecting our emotions on the lizard. And that’s how we see the world most times, as a reflection of our own state of mind.
As I walk around the house, checking doors and turning off the lights, I wish the lizard a good night.
It is the twilight hour. I stand on the balcony and observe the world outside. The world is slowly being enveloped in the dark purple of night. I turn around and look indoors. Warm yellow light fills our living room. My husband is on a work-related call, my son is finishing up his homework and my daughter is attending classes in her room.
The dining table is set for dinner. I wait patiently for all of them to log off from their virtual lives and log in to family time.
With all family members at home all the time, there is a false feeling that we are spending a lot of time with each other. In fact, we walk around the house leading our own lives, not engaging in quality family time.
I think back to the family holidays we took before the pandemic. Whenever we went to a beach, we would all imprint our footprints on partially wet sand, along with the date. A simple, cute memory of lovely times spent with family. There are many such pictures of our footprints on the sands of time. And just after we took those pictures, the waves would come and wash them away, and we would run back laughing.
How things have changed!
I head back in. All of us are done for the day. We head to the dining table to eat.
And just after dinner, and before everyone slinks away, I order a family hug. My teens react with incredulous looks and awkward smiles. They ask if a hug is really required. I insist. And the four of us gather around for a family hug. We fall into a beautiful silence. That hug, just 10 seconds long, rejuvenates all of us, though the kids will never admit it.
No footprints on the sands for now, but the hug will do quite nicely till then.