It was summer time when I moved into that little Barsati. Technically it should be monsoon, because it was July. But the dry earth of Delhi was not to get any showers before September. After climbing three tiring floors of the Wadhwan house, one can reach the Barsati. I was spellbound as I took the first look at the place I would call home.
A huge terrace, sufficient enough for me to dance around under the moonlight, I thought. Definitely unlike the ones we see in the movies on 32 storey high buildings. This terrace was just perfect! As you enter, on the left was a small room. The door and windows painted red and the walls a subtle lime. I walked towards it and opened the door. A small main area inside, a bath on the left and a kitchen on the right! Well, not bad I thought! The bath had good basic amenities, though I am not too fond of bathrooms and the kitchen was pretty spacious. A beautiful window overlooking the street was something I loved the most but sadly had to give that up to fix up an air conditioner. That was the only window and Delhi summers cannot be survived on a roof without an air conditioner.
This small abode in Safdarjung Enclave became home. House was further enriched with posters I have had for over 5 years. Iron Maiden, AC DC, Sex Pistols and other bands made their place on one of my walls. I called it the wall of fame and it was indeed! A mirror in the shape of a sun was found in the room and I happily made it a part of my living soon.
An old Haryanvi maid washed my clothes and a short and stout lady took the thrash. Sometimes the old tiffin uncle got me paranthas for breakfast. I never knew his name; I preferred calling him tiffin uncle. Or wait I know it! It was Paramjeet or Sarabjeet? Well, they all sound the same to me. A young girl of 16 worked downstairs. A pretty girl! She used the terrace to dry clothes and we soon became friends. The landlady was a lovely lady too. Thank god, she couldn’t climb three floors to keep a check on me. She used to call my roof house a ‘Barsati’. I liked that.
The Barsati was a heaven! Who would want to stay in an enclosed flat when you can gaze at the stars at midnight, play with little squirrels, climb on the water tank with your friends, laugh with the warm wind and live absolutely alone to sense the real essence of freedom!
At 20, I had found a home of my own. Sadly time flies and we leave our nests for further dreams and destinations. The bylanes of B5 are never forgotten. Nor is the little girl who worked downstairs or the tiffin uncle or the Haryanvi maid and of course my landlady, who always wanted me to get married! I can anytime close my eyes and go back on that roof and gaze at the city stars, make a cup of tea and write a song of fantasy!
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– When the rains finally kissed the blazing earth after long, the young maid made the most of it!