I'd like to think of myself as different rather than weird or unusually abnormal. Most people love to sit at home, with the curtains thrown open, and sunlight streaming in and flooding the room. Me, I prefer the dark. My doors and windows are almost always shut tight, except if it's too beautiful outside for words (which is a rarity in itself). Then I might consider opening the windows. But then, if it's really that pleasant outside, I'd rather just get out of the house! So, considering my love for the dark, the other thing that “sets me apart” from others, is the fact that I love blackouts.
There is nothing that stirs the imagination and sets those creative juices flowing like a blackout does. Of course, as a kid, I used to simply scream bloody murder and throw the wildest tantrums whenever the current went off. Well, you would too, if the Power puff Girls were right in the middle of saving Townsville from Mojo Jojo! But as I grew older, and discovered the joys of writing, I didn't despise power cuts like before. In fact, I grew to love them!
There was this particular instance, two, perhaps, three years back, that took place one night when the streets of Chennai were groaning under the weight of torrential rain water, and you couldn't hear yourself think over the din of the skies. That particular night, my street as least was drenched in a sudden silent darkness. At around half past seven that night, my neighbours and I fell victims to a power cut, and the minute the lights went out, I could hear the groans from the houses next door. But I of course, was thrilled! Could I possibly ask for a more prefect situation? It was pouring cats and dogs, I was alone at home, and the lights were out! Let me properly explain that now, before you go on to think of other things that can follow that sentence!
It so happened, that I was going through a particular phase. A “Colonial-Cousins-is-the-greatest-things-that's-ever-happened-to-this-world”, phase. So, that entire week, I'd been listening to only that one cassette, and driving everyone around me right up the walls in the process. Before the current went off, I was bored out of my wits, and was just lazing around the place, with absolutely nothing worthwhile to do. Also, that week, I was really down in the dumps because I was suffering from the highly common and hugely irritating “writers block”. I'm not blowing my own trumpet or anything, but it just sounds better when I say writers block as opposed to, I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE!!!!!!!!!!!!
And that was getting me down, because I love to write, and I'm usually never at a loss for words.
So that night, I put on Colonial Cousins, and lit candles all around the house. That's a kind of light that I love. The whole house was glowing and the sound of the rain crashing on the rooftops and on the street below, only added to the beauty of the entire situation. Standing in the middle of the living room, with candles around me, rain pouring outside, and “Indian Rain” playing softly, I knew that the one thing that would make the night absolutely perfect, was a cup of nice, warm coffee. I myself couldn't make it, but luckily for me, there was already coffee ready and waiting in a flask, just for me. With a mug of nice, steaming coffee in my hand, I snuggled into the couch, and simply revelled in the moment. No thoughts, no worries, no fear, no pressure, nothing. Hakuna Matatta. Devoid of all energy, I just sank into the couch, closed my eyes, and let my whole self relax. A few minutes later, I jumped out of all that comfort (no, no, nothing bit me), and grabbed a pen and a notebook, and wrote. I wrote, and the words knocked against each other in a rush to come out. I wrote, and I couldn't stop writing. A candle burning next to me, I wrote till the candle shrunk to half its size, paused, admired my work, and then wrote again! I wrote of rain and wind, of cold and warmth, of fire and water, of dancing images in the flame of the candle, of songs and lyrics, of music and happiness, of night and peace, of coffee and candlelight.
That night, I wrote my heart out, I smiled my widest. That night I fully realised the magic, the wonder, of a number of seemingly ordinary things. But most of all, I realised my love for and the absolute miracle of coffee, and candlelight.
M.Vinithra, finished XII at Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya, Senior Secondary School.