Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The girl from the glass house

The girl from the glass house drowned herself in the well, and I listened to the news with fascination.To me , with that single-act which adults alone are capable of she had stepped into the remote world of adults. You know that for a twelve year old adulthood is what a star is to the moth, right?

She lived in a wasted house with tile roofs just behind my Grandma's house where I grew up. Mildew drew bizarre pictures on the outer walls of her house and the well stood in a silent corner. Large glass windows on all the three sides saved the house from blending into the many worn out houses that clustered by. There were no walls between any of these houses. Deep red shoe-flowers on green hedges softly marked their boundaries. Against this the wall of my Grandma’s house stood tall dividing the neighbourhood neatly into two worlds. Ridiculously tall.

We were of the same age; still I had seen her just once, a glimpse through a dusty window in one of the deserted upstairs rooms of my grandma’s house. She sat on the cement steps of her house, hunched over a book. A shabby kamees, wet hair let loose to dry- that’s all. Yet, she would join me in my silly games often, coming and going as I willed, even after she drowned herself in the well.

Last time I went to my Grandma’s house the tamarind tree in the backyard brought back memories of my old playmate. I tried to recall her face, and that’s when it struck me that I never knew her name.