Jewel in the sky


It is eight in the evening. I am putting away clothes in the various cupboards. I inhale the fragrance of fabric softener in the freshly washed clothes and lose myself for a minute.

A flashing light catches my eye. I realize that it is a video wall from a building nearby. Each time a video plays, the lights get reflected on the building next to ours.

Just like the video, my mind constantly switches from one thought to another, dwelling on the various mundanities that swamp our lives each day.

I press my nose to the window and watch the world outside. My gaze travels to the traffic at the junction – I see shining lights, silhouettes of people and the shadows of trees. My mind’s chatter continues – hopping from tomorrow’s menu to work to family, and to many other things.

My gaze shifts towards the sky. And there, shining between two buildings – on a deep, deep blue sky – is the planet Venus. Like a solitaire diamond suspended in space.

I continue to gaze at this beautiful jewel. Venus is far, far away and can see the Earth and so many other worlds that are beyond my comprehension. The thoughts in my mind seep away, and I am enveloped by a feeling of peace and timelessness.

The sounds from the traffic below fade, as my mind travels to the unknown – where everyday troubles seem so tiny in comparison, where the concept of hours, days and weeks seem inconsequential in the bigger scheme of things.

Venus will set soon, and in just a few hours the sun will rise on a blue sky, bringing with it the promise of another day. However, the minutiae of our lives will exert their sway on us all over again.

But just for these few glorious minutes I cut myself loose from the here and the now, and suspend myself in another realm where I peek into the magic of the universe, and ponder over its mysteries. Everything else can wait.

Just a speck


My husband and I are in a restaurant, on the 64th floor of a building. The restaurant boasts of a wonderful view of the city.

After we finish dinner, we go up to the rooftop viewing deck. The sky looks a hazy grey, with silver clouds floating about lazily. The moon keeps moving between layers of cloud – now here, now gone.

We stand transfixed. The whole city is throbbing with life and lights. The main roads and expressways are sheer golden streaks of light – ‘all-important’ arteries that connect everything.

The vehicles are like glow worms, crawling towards their destination. Far away is the ocean, where small boats and ferries bob about like shimmering jewels.

Life seems to be happening at a frenetic pace in the city. Everything seems to be moving. All the buildings are lit up, with signboards visible at many places.

Standing here, it seems like magic. I feel disconnected from reality. I feel like an observer from another world. From here, as I see the big picture, everyday worries and problems seem minuscule. Looking up at the sky, I am struck by its immensity. I imagine what space would look like, and what the planets would be doing now – revolving and rotating, I guess; in no hurry to finish, taking their time and doing what they are supposed to.

Peace and quiet above, constant movement and noise below. From where I stand, I enjoy both. I love the pulsating city, filled with interesting people, who have big dreams. I love the lights and the water. I love the sky and the clouds.

Very soon, an elevator will take me down, and I will join the sea of humanity below – becoming just another speck in the vast canvas of time.

But while I am still here, I soak it all in.