12, Kasturba Gandhi Marg
Text: Meghna Talwar
Pictures: Aishwarya Kandpal
That’s all you see written from my side of the road.
I cross an old house everyday and I wonder what it would be like to touch its walls, open its rusty locked doors, brush aside the cobwebs that lightly decorate its interiors.
I want to walk up the stately steps I imagine it to have and find the window with the best view. I want to peep inside every room and try guessing what life was led in each. Something tells me I’ll find a pair of candlesticks somewhere, and maybe an ornamental table with silver cutlery locked away in it. There will be lamps that haven’t seen light in years and brown wooden chairs greying with dust. And shoes. There’s always a pair of abandoned shoes somewhere. There will be a hastily written and forgotten note hidden in some corner, talking of things that make no sense to me. There will be a wonderful stack of newspapers telling me stories the house must have heard.
It is the loneliest house I have ever seen. But it has more soul than most.
I cross this old house everyday. I know I’ll never enter.
* * * *
“The empty chairs faced each other between the silent walls, and the music played.
At ten o’clock the house began to die.”
– There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury (1950)
“Kabr par mere sarr uthaa ke khadi ho zindagi/ aisey marna hai mujhe”
(“I want to die with Life standing tall on my grave.”)
– Zinda (Amitabh Bhattacharya)
This was first published in the author's private blog.
Meghna Talwar is a documentary filmmaker based in Delhi. When not making films, she's sleeping. When she's not sleeping, she writes.