Once upon a time at an age when my eyelashes weren’t coated with mascara, but with dreams, I remember sitting at the top of an overhead water tank in a house we rented and gazing at the stars in the night sky and the airplanes that flew above. I imagined the worlds far away, the fabulous destinations these planes and the passengers were headed to wanting to peek into the lit windows that gently sailed beyond. The overhead water tank was my favorite spot for day dreaming. It had a black iron ladder leading up to it and was perched on the terrace or rooftop of the two storied house we lived in. With buildings on either side, particularly a tall apartment on the right , I always thought the house was dwarfed. What lent relief to this stymied existence was my spot.
Staring into the night lights of the buildings around, feeling invisible cloaked in darkness as I was, I wove stories about the people that darted past the windows or hovered on the balconies. In the humid and hot summer afternoons, if there was nothing else to see, I attempted to count the mangoes in the tree that grew in the yard of the house across the street. I sat there unmindful of the hours crawling. When the sun dozed off the mosquitoes would start congregating over my head. I would occasionally swat at them only to have them gather again for their huddle. My mom would either send a messenger (most likely my sister for my brother was apt to join me) to remind me of the dangers of malaria and dengue fever and all else associated with my winged friends.
Every house I ever lived in, I would go up to the rooftop and spend time studying for exams or just thinking about people and events in my life. After all these years I suddenly find myself missing the rooftop view on things, on life. I miss having that heightened perspective - a detached and distanced view of life around me. I long for the boundless space and solitude.