Back in Delhi, I lived alone in a beautiful Barsati house. After climbing 3 floors of the Wadhwan house, you will find a door to the terrace. Hold on there, because that’s the entrance to my house ideally. A doorbell on the right to ask the permission to enter my terrace and then came my Barsati! Unfortunately, nobody cared about the doorbell and people choose to enter the terrace straight. The first ones to make this a habit were the Wadhwan maids who preferred chilling on the terrace. Sometimes secretly talking to their boyfriends over the phone and other times gossiping with one other. Then everybody followed suit; garbage collectors, gardeners, plumbers, my friends, kids and the entire parallel universe.
Now, the only door where someone would want to actually ask my permission before entering was the immediate door to enter my house. As you enter the terrace straight with no shame, on your left is my small room with a pretty red door and a small adjacent window. When one lives alone there are a lot of things you end up observing. People came, they knocked. Now the catch is the way they knocked. There were different kinds of knocks; urgent knocks, calm knocks, rhythmic knocks, haywire knocks, beautiful knocks and ugly knocks.
My morning would begin with an exhausting knock by the old lady who collected my garbage. I would keep the bin outside of course, but she would come each day to ask for money for absolutely no reason at all. Pretending to sleep, I would make no noise and breathe low until she left. 10 minutes of knocking on the door, she would leave cursing me in Haryanvi. Then, the maid with an angry knock to wash my dirty clothes. The tiffin uncle’s knocks would be so calm, sometimes I would not even realize he was there and most of the times I would end up staying hungry without his tiffin. The internet guy, the aqua guy and the Wadhwan maid’s knocks were the most annoying. So urgent and meaningless!
The best kinds of knocks were by my trio- office colleagues and then closest friends; these three would barge in at late evenings. On winter evenings, the knocks would be rhythmic with sudden excitements, mostly because they came with wine bottles. Then the multifarious knocks by Him. When He came early mornings after his cycling workout; they would be urgent and pumped with energy. If He is coming in the evenings, they would be subtle and calm. When He came with his group of friends for house parties, they would be cheerful and eager knocks. If He is angry, he would bang the door with all his might. Some days He would skip the knock and call me out from the window and other times He would come singing to me.
The best part of all this was, I would know who’s on the door each time. Each time they knocked, they made me more sensitive and receptive. Each time they knocked, I would know a little bit more about them. Each time they knocked, they gave me an opportunity to peep into their souls and how!
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