Thursday, August 26, 2004

Home On The Range

Yesterday, I woke up facing the window that looks out on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 34th street. There's a tall red-brick building there, reaching 'way up high in that canonical, skyscraper-y way. I'd already seen it of course, and hadn't thought much about it, except that it is, you know, BIG and very uniform, and a rather dull, muddy, dried-blood colour. Well, yesterday, at dawn, I saw that the whole upper east-side corner of the building was rose-red, aflame with light, dawn-light -- and in that instant, the notion occurred to me that these soaring structures aren't really buildings at all, but mountains. The light striking the peak of that building (I'll have to find out its name today) reminded me -- yes, I realize it's a bit absurd -- of that moment in HEIDI when the lonely little orphan who has been sent to live with her gruff old grandfather in the high mountains, sees the sunset blazing in the snow peaks around her.

These mountains around me are made of brick and sweat and human toil and also dreams and hopes and imagination, and we have burrowed into them and made our homes amongst their high reaches. There really is something magnificent about them. I've never felt so thrilled by the sight of tall buildings before ...

4 comments:

Amrobilia said...

Hoo Yeah!

My first encounter with these man-made mountains was quite terrifying. After staying awake all the way from Mumbai to NY (with a three-hour-stop at Heathrow, which we smokers spent literally devouring cigarettes in the no-smoking zone which was a 2-km trek from the plane, n therefore conking ourselves out peoper)thanks to the excitement of going 'west' for the first time in my life, we checked into this apartment on, I think, the 54th floor n I was all-a-quiver with excitement n awe n in a slight daze from not sleeping for, what, atleast a day n a half, when I went into the loo n did my thing n then as I tried to open the door to exit, found that it was jammed. PANIC! Oh, how I panicked! Alone (it did FEEL like that, even though there were about five others 'outside') in this strange city, on the other side of the globe, sleepless n weary and locked inside a little cubicle of a 'restroom' on the 54th floor with nothing but other man-made mountains on view through the windy...oof!

Uh-oh!

Njoi!

Marginalien said...

Ha ha! Well, fortunately I haven't had any close(d) encounters with bathroom doors!! My major preoccupation is with ensuring that I don't forget to take the keys with me when I come and go. It takes time to switch mental pre-sets from the situation at home, where there is nearly ALWAYS someone in the house to open doors, to the situation away from home, when not having the front door key means a major annoyance and a long wait.

I do adore being alone in a functioning apartment though. I mean, last year, I stayed in two different 'studio' apartments and though I got good mileage from them, they were a great deal more rugged than the place I'm in now, which belongs to the parents of a friend, and is in full running order. It has all the familiar comforts of a normal home -- complete with family photographs! -- but no other residents but me. A sort of luxurious monk's cell.

I guess it's time to post another bulletin ...

Anonymous said...

Hi Manjula, i knew you were in NY and was looking for an email for you on the internet when I saw your website. i will be in NY from the 6th of this month and hope to see you--it has been a long time. Pankaj

Anonymous said...

Hey have a great day, I'll be back to see yours again too. :)