As the sun dissipated among evening colours the city soaked into, Aryan, one who born into the lineage of oldest inhabitants of the city;the urban tribal, leaped out of the window to feel the cross wind. Along the serpentine lane that would lead to another lane from there to another, his old house stood like camouflage that anyone would seldom bother to notice. He always considered it as an advantage in this city of heritage, a blessing in disguise he has inherited. He thanked his forefathers many times for not making the house any special so that it would become social nostalgia.
During the morning time when heritage seekers walk around looking at houses to takes photos of the inhabitants trapped in this heritage business, his house luckily never looked attractive to those pretentious eyes. He never had to feel like those caged gorillas and chimpanzees trapped in front of half naked tourists. In this thirty years of his life in this lane, he never understood their curious eyes, their zooming lenses or their pretentious expressions.
Foreigners perhaps must be having their ghetto tourism, something they only would have seen in third world films. But what about Indians! What difference do they find here than their gutter neighbourhood they live in their cities!
"Aaraya...come down, I am going to Derasaar" the frail voice of mother is getting shriller day by day he thought.
The dilapidated staircases were broken at many places.
One has to be very careful. Don't know when was the last time mother came up on this stairs.
Mother had already left the house through an equally dark door; a door built around three hundred or perhaps four hundred years ago.
As the old women who lived her entire life among these heritage curios exits through a four hundred year old frozen history, he know, Ramu kaka in his eighties will be waiting at next corner to have his daily sight of his old flame he couldn't possess. Their daily exchange of sparkles in eyes and their painful smile, Daya kaki's routine complaints about her joint pains, eighty year old Kalu kaka's eternal fights with wife as he doubts his seventy year old wife's extra marital affairs, Suren bhai's fights with children in the neighbourhood over their cricket ball that hits his bike, endless crowd at Biru mausi's Chai kitlee and their gup-shups, Neeti ben's endless worries about water supply getting over, Meenu mausi's strip tease for an eligible bachelor in the neighbourhood from opposite house whenever Aryan goes to terrace in the evening, Kirit bhai's non stop coughs from his terminal TB and his wife Henal ben's loud curses...
As he closed the four hundred year old door of his house, heritage stood frozen at facade like a failed marriage. A new batch of half naked Indian tourists passed that door looking for heritage in the night in his neighbourhood.