3:00 p.m.

 

There’s this giant magnifying glass up there, you see. Up in the sky, someone, mad beyond imagination, has held up this giant magnifying glass, collapsing-compacting-concentrating the sun’s rays onto a single blinding point on the earth. This is the little town of Chembur. It is hot today.

 

Though the afternoon is cruel to everyone and everything, the worst sufferers, by far, are the dogs. The sun has pushed them underneath edges and behind walls where the sharp shadows offer a condition marginally less oppressive than the searing open ground. They breathe in harsh rhythm, saliva dripping and in an entirely dog-like way, they ponder suicide. They wait for the sun to go down.

 

I sit in the shade of the long verandah of my house, observing the afternoon explode in slow-motion around me. I could have sat in the considerable comfort of my room in the inner folds of the red-tiled, high-ceilinged, creaking-wood, double-gloomy mansion, the air-conditioner cranked up to Deep Arctic, but I choose instead the glare and heat of this verandah. Despite the semi-diabolical sun, I feel as cool and as light as a breeze from the sweetest winds. The elements have no power over me and I am the envy of dogs.

 

A breeze from the sweetest winds - my mind grabs on to this notion and lo, I am pulled free and up, up, up; I am a breeze, a silent caress, a hushed chill, laden with double-edged scents and moods; I am zeppelin-esque-like-ic-ious, slipping silent and beautiful against the giant blueness, a cloud, a contraption, an airborne clown; I look down on the distant earth with its miniature ways and cares and fucky-mucky cock-talk. I am above it all that and swirling further away, to rarer things, on finer wings. I, who am the wind, fly with all other winds and we fly strong and we fly high. They are me and I am many, I realise.

 

The smell of ganja lies thick around me. A bittersweet, warm, green-woody smell, a smell of organic lust, of plants in heat, of Eros by flora, suffusing the air with microbial sex-cells. The smell is fertile.

 

It’s been three years since the last time I came under the spell of marijuana. It’s going to be a lovely evening. I smile.

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