Our guest writer today, Auroni Semonti Khan, Dhaka, Bangladesh. June 2020.
The night when you can hear footsteps. Or is it the water dripping from the age old ACs that seem to work better than the modern ones. Noisy, but bursts of air. The kind that Marilyn Monroe gave birth to and still manages to fly in the hair of beauties without borders. The night when the only cloud in sight is the one that just burnt you. You let it go. It leaves, a thick cloud of burnt shrubs, which you forced to leave just to feel the city breeze on your shoulders. Yes there is a breeze you can feel without the click of the switch. The footsteps that are unheard of all day. They sound at night. And in the already small sky, but our very own crammed sky, somewhere unseen another cloud wakes up, loudspeaker testing in a concert. Another day to wake up to.
Accepting life, c’est la vie. But la vie en rose.
And then on some nights, the burns sound like the leaves, the leaves- asleep, exhausted, praying, heads lowered in weary or from the fights with boses and bus conductors, swaying in a trance. Or they themselves sound like the motorized manual rickshaw passing by. The daily footsteps at night also sound like the crispy burning or the leaves default pitter patter, and then they sound like the dogs, or the dog-feet sound like human ones dragging themselves through life, or a race, sounding like horses, that are signature to this very city. And suddenly I am under the overground flyover where the horses are not racing, rather resting, and the smell of their life is so alive that the walls, the streets and the air have taken the colour of the brown output of their batteries, garnished with green sprinkles and in some places, moss. The weary pitter patters of my home have lent each other their lives in this night. Oh wait! It’s the rain. The streamline of liquid from heavens above, throw the trees out of those feet splashing on to my face. It is the rain. The pitter patter. They greet me. The visible music like our winamp media player closing in on me. Rather listen to my numbed senses and melt into the forever familiar smell of mom, mosquito nets, and all things sleep.
Auroni Semonti Khan
University of Dhaka