"And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding--
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door. "
I've been doing this all too frequently nowadays. Whenever I run short of ideas to put on my posts, I resort to quoting someone else and fawn over their control over their grip of the language. The above extract is from Alfred Noyes' "The Highwayman" and it is a poem that I'd read 10-12 years ago and still love it exactly as much.
After another especially tough day at the office back in Calcutta, I'd find myself hooking up my disused I-Pod. I love my I-Pod for the funky, sleek thing that it is but earphones in my ears for more than half an hour cause me such an headache that I am not able to utilize this wonderful gift to me to the best extent possible. I'd go up to the 3rd floor terrace, my retreat from the noise and the grime of the city of Calcutta. It is only three floors above the streets, but it is three worlds apart.
Especially on the days when the moon was like "a ghostly galleon tossed upon the clouds" and a cool but slightly uncomfortable breeze rose from the Hooghly. As Dire Straits, U2 and Pink Floyd performed in crystal clear I-Pod quality into my ears and I stroll around the highest point of my house, I'd look around at all the deserted rooftops of the neighbouring houses. I keep my eyes peeled for any activity in the darkness holding sway on all the other rooftops of course secretly wishing that I'd see nothing that'd disturb my peace of mind. I'd smile whenever I'd walk past the tiny water tank that was on the terrace. Back when we were kids, my cousin sister would tell us (my sister and me) stories of the shark that lived in this tank and we'd be really scared and stay away from it! I'd look out from the parapet to see the narrow lanes in front of my house bathed in a eerie yellow of sodium lights. The rare motorcycle or taxi would lose its way into this maze of palely lit passages and the hum of their engine would shred the peace of the night. I'd keep moving around this meditation ground of mine as long as possible letting the breeze play masseur to my stressed out mind before logic and necessity would dictate that I had better get back to bed if I was to survive another day of torture at the office next day!