house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Saturday, 31 August 2013


Islamabad, a few nights ago: something wakes me. Too bleary to know what, I lie there in the deafening wind tunnel aka our-room-at-night (three fans, one air conditioner, still not enough to keep the heat at bay).

Then I notice something different about the sky: it flares and flickers, gold disco lights lined with plum-coloured fists of cloud. Since when can something look like light and be so dark? Intrigued, I jump out of bed and sleepwalk to the window, much like a child would approach a House of Horrors at a Fair.

I walk in the dark, to a bigger window next door. On the way, I step on Kira's discarded sandals, a hairbrush, two books and a fountain pen; stumble against an extension cable which makes the iron shoot from the board straight at my hip; walk into a few table corners and a chair; slide on last night's DVD - and hardly notice. Away from the constant buzz of fans, the night becomes even more dramatic.

Never-ending lightning in the sky. A continuous deep rumble as if something is crouching in the dark ready to pounce, a creature with all the size, anger and scars of two continents. Loud bellows of thunder. And a vast waterfall of rain or iron, I can't tell.

Our swimming stuff flaps on the line outside, drenched and defeated. I stop behind the balcony door: should I run out and get it? Two, five, ten seconds holding on to the door handle to brace myself. My feet are already drenched in icy rainwater coming into the house. Rumble, bellow, light. The earth is not at peace.

I am frozen and blank. This terror probably belongs to the caves of the first humans. Silenced and confused, with a head full of buzzing wool and nothing much besides. There is no way I'm opening this door.

What about birds? I wonder somewhat inconsequentially. Where do birds sleep on a night like this?

And, oh my God, what about people? The millions clinging to each other in the dark, in mud huts, out there in the Indus plains?

I step outside and meet the monsoon.


At 2 September 2013 at 14:21 , Blogger Suraiya Khalid said...

Oh I can soo feel that rain!!! and I miss it soo, as well! :)

At 5 September 2013 at 18:08 , Anonymous Mirela said...

Draga Monica, sunt Mirela, cea pe care ai cunoscut-o acum 29 de ani in Bucuresti.
Scuza-ma ca tocmai aici iti scriu, stiu ca trebuia sa comentez de fapt articolul.
Eram studenta in anul I la Conservator, ne-am intalnit in Piata Romana in statia de autobuz.
Mi-am amintit de tine cand am gasit fotografiile de la tine.
Sper din suflet sa iti amintesti de mine.
Poti sa-mi scri pe adresa
Am sunat la mama ta la Buc. de 2 ori.
Am vrut sa stiu ce mai faci.


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